sport

Bertrand earns Lambert praise

Paul Lambert has hailed the impact Ryan Bertrand has made at Aston Villa, but is yet to explore the possibility of a permanent transfer being agreed.

With there fierce competition for places at Chelsea, Bertrand was allowed to join Villa on loan in January.

He will see out the season in the Midlands and will be hoping to force his way into World Cup contention during that time.

Bertrand will then have a decision to make on his future - whether to return to Stamford Bridge or seek a move elsewhere.

Villa boss Lambert would certainly be keen if the 24-year-old full-back does become available, but the Scot claims the finer points of such a deal are not something he is concerned about at present.

He told the Birmingham Mail: "It's just a loan the way it stands but you'd never think the boy was only on loan the way he's settled in and the way he's played.

"He's been absolutely fantastic, he's a terrific guy and I'm delighted with him.

"Ryan's earned the right to have a value, whatever that may be, because of what he's done. Whatever Chelsea price him at, that's their prerogative but we're thankful they gave us that opportunity to let him come here."

Bertrand's arrival has pushed summer signing Antonio Luna down the pecking order, but Lambert feels added competition for places will serve the Spaniard well in the long run.

On a man who failed to make Villa's matchday squad for Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Everton, Lambert said: "It happened to Ron Vlaar last year, Karim Al Ahmadi as well.

"It was hard for them to come into a new environment, and they had played at Feyenoord in front of big crowds every time.

"It is difficult and you're fortunate if they can hit the ground running. Some players can do it from the off and others tend to take a bit of time."