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 that yet happen with Chelsea? It’s been assumed all along that he would have to leave in order to do so — on loan, or most likely for good 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 of a future together.
Maatsen was close to leaving for good last summer, too, before opting for a loan. But ideally, he’d want to stay now, as he told reporters last night.
“I try to do my best. It’s all I can do. Of course I want to stay. If I prove that every day in training and work hard in the matches, they’ll decide. Hopefully I can stay here.”
-Ian Maatsen; source: Mail
That ideal outcome may not be so easy to secure however, even if Maatsen keeps performing this well. Even in yesterday’s game he was deployed at 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.
So it’s not an easy situation, though surely if we are forced to arrange a transfer, we can get more than the £15m Nottingham Forest are supposedly offering...