Former Chelsea defender Graeme le Saux has urged Jose Mourinho to refrain from dipping into the transfer market to replace Ashley Cole and instead hand the role to Ryan Bertrand, who has been linked with joining Liverpool this summer.
Bertrand spent the second half of last season on loan at Aston Villa - his sixth spell away from The Blues since joining in 2006 - but despite starting the 2012 Champions League final, questions remain over his long-term future at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho, who has already signed Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa this summer, has been linked with Atletico Madrid full back Felipe Luis as a replacement for Cole, who departed the club at the end of the season after failing to win a contract extension.
Though Cesar Azpilicueta performed admirably last term, the Spanish international is unable to offer balance to a Chelsea attack which struggled for width for long periods of the season.
Le Saux believes that while Bertrand offers an English option, he would also contribute greater stability at the back during the new campaign.
"Specifically at left back, with Azpilicueta having played at left back for much of last season and doing very well, I still don't think that is the ideal solution," he told Sky Sports News radio.
"Having a left-footed left back is very important and someone like Ryan Bertrand who has been on loan at Aston Villa and played in the Champions League final when Chelsea won it [could fill in].
"Whether or not this pre-season he can prove to the manager that he should be first choice [who knows] because he is a very gifted footballer."
Liverpool are also on the look-out for a replacement left-back with Aly Cissokho having returned to Valencia, while concerns continuing over Jose Enrique's long-term fitness.
After being priced of a move for Sevilla's Albert Moreno, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is understood to have made Bertrand his No.1 left-back target.
Whether or not Brendan Rodgers makes a move for Bertrand, Le Saux believes he will make the right decision in the end.
"You have to look at the personal situation for the player and whether the club are prepared to give him the opportunity and that is obviously a question for Jose Mourinho," he added.
"At the same time, Ryan is a very hardworking, dedicated football who has done everything in my opinion that has been asked of him and done it well.
"At some point you have to make a decision over your own career and if you're not going to be the established first choice in a certain position, when you get to a certain age you start having to make decisions.
"That is part of the business of football and I am sure he will make the right decision, as will Chelsea."