NEW Leicester City acquisition Ryan Bertrand admits playing in Europe is “a fantastic goal for a professional” amid switching Saints for FA Cup winners.

The 31-year-old departed Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side following the expiry of his contract and has sealed a two-year deal with the Foxes – who will compete in this season’s Europa League.

Bertrand is no stranger to European success, having started in Chelsea’s Champions League winning XI at Munich in 2012, before spending the last seven years as Saints’ first choice.

The left-back penned a heartfelt message to fans upon his exit but has been full of compliments and praise for his new employers.

He told the club website: "It feels amazing, I’ve had the first day today but I’m looking forward to getting started properly with the lads and I can’t wait.

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“It's complemented my inner ambitions and what I want to achieve still.

“To play in Europe is a fantastic goal for a professional footballer, so hopefully we can do really well in the competition. I’m really looking forward to participating on all fronts.

"I’m just really happy to be here. It’s a pleasure to be a part of this fantastic club and I’m just going to give my all and try to do the fans proud."

Current Foxes manager Brendan Rogers joined the former Premier League winners in 2019, following a three-year spell at Liverpool and a trophy-laden time at Celtic.

The Northern Irish boss has led the side to a fifth-placed finish in each of the last two seasons, securing Europa League football and seeing his team reach the knockout stages, before delivering the club’s first ever FA Cup title.

Bertrand becomes the third addition to their squad, following Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare and hotly-tipped Red Bull Salzburg striker Patson Daka.

The experienced defender added: "There is no better place to be, to be honest, to be a part of what they’ve built over the years, and to continue that journey. Leicester have built something amazing over the years. Especially since Brendan’s come in. He’s added to that massively, in terms of the mentality.

"You can see the squad they’ve assembled as well, the professionalism, the standards, the values that everyone shares and buys into. They have one common goal, so it speaks volumes, and hopefully that’ll leave us in good stead.

"It’s been a busy day with testing and stuff, but it was more just catching up [with Rodgers]. We touched on, tactically, me getting to know the philosophy and how we like to play, so I’m really looking forward to it.

"I’m sure that sharing my experiences will be one of my roles also. I’m here to share all of that, on and off the field, so I’ll always be open and if I can lend a few words here and there to the developing players, then I’m sure I’ll do that. It’s going to be a team project so I’m here to help.

"The style of play that Brendan propagates is perfect for my mentality and how I approach the game. It’s one of the main reasons also. I look forward to implementing my style within that and getting more success."