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He only made two appearances for Chelsea that season, both in domestic cup games.
He made his debut in a 2–1 defeat to West Ham United at Upton Park.
He completed his first season as a first-team player with 15 starts and eight substitute appearances.
The following season carried on in a similar vein with Bridge making occasional appearances on the left wing until injuries to Francis Benali and the poor form of his intended replacement Patrick Colleter gave Bridge the opportunity to play at left-back, where he soon became a fixture in the Saints starting line-up.
Wayne Michael Bridge (born 5 August 1980) is an English retired footballer who played as a left back.
A graduate of the Southampton Academy where he made his debut in 1998, Bridge also played for Chelsea, West Ham, Manchester City and Fulham during his Premier League career.
Bridge was rewarded by being voted the Southampton Player of the Year for the 2000–01 season.
Prior to the match, Bridge was involved in a highly publicised incident in which he refused to shake hands with Chelsea captain and former club and international teammate John Terry, who was at the time the subject of claims His position as left-back for Manchester City gradually faded with the arrival of two new left-backs.
His strong early season form, however, was not enough to hold down the left-back position, with Mourinho preferring Ashley Cole in most games.
Following Cole's injury in the 3–0 Premier League win against Blackburn Rovers early in 2007, Bridge became Chelsea's natural choice for left-back.
Chelsea went on to win the Premier League in his absence but Bridge had already made enough appearances (15) to receive a winners' medal.
and Bridge faced a challenge to get back into the side when he recovered from the injury that kept him out of the team in the latter stages of the 2004–05 campaign.
He told The Independent, "Brighton have been great to me.