There is an argument to be made that if Ryan Bertrand was ruled out for an entire Premier League season with Southampton, the club would be at a high risk of relegation.
It is generally considered that 40 points is the benchmark to achieving Premier League safety across the 38-game top-flight season.
Yet since signing Bertrand, initially on loan at the start of the 2014/15 season before making the deal permanent, they haven’t been averaging the 1.05 points per game required to reach 40 points when the England left-back has been out of action.
Having been unavailable for the opening two games of the current campaign because of a knee injury, Bertrand has now missed 12 league matches since moving to St Mary’s.
From the 36 points on offer in these encounters, Southampton have cobbled together a paltry 12 points. Continuing this average across the entire season would obviously equate to only 38 points.
This run includes seven home games and involves just a solitary win – against relegated Norwich last season.
Their only other victory in this selection is a 1-0 triumph over QPR in 2014/15 and the London club were also relegated at the end of that campaign.
Other Southampton statistics of note from the fixtures without Bertrand include:
- They have only scored 10 goals across the 12 games missed
- They have failed to score at all in half of the 12 fixtures
Although a defender, it is clear that Bertrand’s attacking intent from left-back is a pivotal part of their style. Manchester City’s Aleksandar Kolarov was the only defender to attempt more crosses last season.
In comparison to replacement left-back Matt Targett, Bertrand is also much quicker and much more aware from a positional standpoint with his defensive duties.
Southampton’s odds are 4/5 to finish in the top half of the Premier League this season and this could ultimately hinge on how much time Bertrand spends on the sidelines.
The Saints are 12/1 to be relegated.