Ian Maatsen began preseason as little more than an afterthought in our depth chart at left back, but over the course of the past three weeks, he’s worked his way into much greater reckoning.
He’s started all three of our friendlies so far, playing on either the left or the right wing, and has made an impact on the pitch and on the scoreboard as well. He scored a brace in our first friendly and he set up the only goal of the game last night, with perfect through ball for Nicolas Jackson to run onto and finish.
In a team glittering with promising young attacking talent, Maatsen’s play is demanding attention. Mauricio Pochettino is happy to give him the attention he deserves ... so far.
“I am so happy with him. He is a player who can play in different positions. His quality, his understanding of the game, he is a clever player. I am so happy with him so far.”
“So far he is in my plans. I am so pleased with him, I told you before, I am so pleased because he is a player whose attitude, commitment and understanding of the game, we can use in different positions. That is a good thing for the team and for a coach. It is good to have this type of player.”
-Mauricio Pochettino; source: Hayters TV
Obviously, our squad for next season isn’t finalized yet. We will have to cut at least a handful of players from the squad on tour to trim our numbers to a more manageable, more appropriate total. But Maatsen’s certainly making a great case for making the cut, even at such a crowded position as left back (which he has yet to actually play this preseason).