Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Cahill tips Bertrand for big future

Gary Cahill believes Ryan Bertrand, pictured, has a bright future ahead of him

Ryan Bertrand has been tipped to enjoy a "massive future" by Gary Cahill after signing a new five-year contract with Chelsea.

The Blues confirmed that Bertrand had penned a fresh deal - barely a year after agreeing a four-year contract - following his remarkable progress in recent months.

Chelsea and England team-mate Cahill said: "I think people are just starting to sit up and realise how good a player he is from the couple of spells he had at the end of last year and to be thrown into the Champions League final and start. He has got a great reputation, especially at our club, and is going to have a massive future, that's for sure."

The 23-year-old became the first man ever to make his Champions League debut in the final itself in May, made his England debut in last month's friendly win over Italy, and kept his place in the squad for Friday's opening World Cup qualifier in Moldova.

Bertrand has started two of Chelsea's three Barclays Premier League games this season.

Prior to Roberto Di Matteo's appointment as manager in March, he barely figured for his parent club since making a controversial move from Gillingham seven years ago.

Ashley Cole's arrival as Chelsea's undisputed first-choice left-back saw Bertrand spend much of his early Stamford Bridge career out on loan.

He did not make his debut until April last year and there had been speculation he may be forced to leave in search of regular first-team football but he is now very much seen as the heir apparent to Cole, whose own contract expires next summer.

He could also succeed Cole in the England set-up but will probably play second fiddle to Leighton Baines in Friday's opening World Cup qualifier in Moldova - Cole has been ruled out of that match through injury.

Cahill added: "It only benefits him coming here with England and seeing the likes of Bainsey and obviously training with Ashley."