Coming off an excellent season on loan at Burnley, where he helped Vincent Kompany’s men win the Championship and earn promotion to the Premier League, Ian Maatsen has already made it very clear that he wants to play top-tier football this year.
Could it happen at Chelsea? It’s been assumed all along that he would have to leave to do so on loan, or most likely for long since he has only one year left on his contract but after a star turn in yesterday’s first preseason friendly, there’s perhaps renewed hope for a future together.
Maatsen was close to leaving for a while last summer, too, before opting for a loan. But ideally, he’d want to remain in the position, as he told reporters last night.
That ideal outcome may not be so easy to achieve, however, even if Maatsen keeps performing well. Even in yesterday’s game he was deployed on the left wing instead of left back, where Ben Chilwell and Marc Cucurella are the entrenched primary options (for better or worse) and we also have Lewis Hall if necessary. Maatsen’s versatility is helpful, but we also have a reduced schedule with no European football on tap, and that will limit opportunities.
I’m not sure if we can get more than the £15m Nottingham Forest are reportedly offering if we have to arrange a transfer…