Former Chelsea reserve left-back believes his loan move to Villa Park can boost his chances of making Roy Hodgson’s England squad this summer
The left-back appeared destined to become Cole’s eventual successor at Chelsea but the return of Jose Mourinho has left him out of the picture. He has made only one Premier League appearance this season and insisted he had no option but to leave when Cesar Azpilicueta, a right-back, was selected ahead of him and Cole.
Bertrand now has the chance to revive his career at Villa and has five weeks to impress Hodgson as he targets an England recall for the friendly against Denmark in March.
And the 24-year-old has admitted Cole could now be his direct rival as the pair attempt to compete with Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs to join Leighton Baines in the squad.
“I see no reason why I can’t be considered for England again,” he said. “I’ve had a taste of it against Italy and Ukraine in 2012 and felt more than comfortable at that level. It’s as close as it’s ever been for who plays left-back. As long as my form is good and I play enough games then you will always be in the hat.
“Is Ashley a rival? Possibly. We’ve got a good relationship on and off the pitch but I see no reason why I can’t be his rival for England.
“The short-term goal is Wednesday and doing well against West Bromwich Albion but at the back of my mind, realistically you would have to be involved in the friendly against Denmark to have a chance of being involved at the World Cup.”
Bertrand has more than two years remaining on his contract at Chelsea and seems set to leave in the summer permanently, with Liverpool, Fulham and Villa potential destinations.
With Mourinho preparing to rival Manchester United for Southampton’s Luke Shaw it means Bertrand could be effectively fourth choice next season if Cole extends his contract.
His last game for Chelsea was the Capital One Cup game at Arsenal and he has conceded that Mourinho’s decision to play Azpilicueta at left-back was the final straw.
“When I was younger I saw it happen to certain players and I always said I’d never accept that. I don’t think as a professional player you can accept another player playing in your position that isn’t his position, so I think that was the one,” he said. “That was when the alarm bells started ringing.
“You keep being professional throughout your training but you’d be lying if you said it never affected you. You’re training knowing its for no purpose.
“Personally I never had any fall-outs with him [Mourinho] but at the same time I never had many reassurances so I thought let me take it into my own hands and get out on loan and start to play my football again.”