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Chelsea loanee explains why he joined Championship club despite PL and Feyenoord interest



Ian Maatsen of Burnley is challenged by Antony of Manchester United during a Carabao Cup Fourth Round match.

Chelsea loanee Ian Maatsen feels he has grown into a proficient left-back at Burnley

After being promoted from the Chelsea U21 team to the senior squad, Ian Maatsen made just one appearance for the Blues before going on loan to Charlton Athletic in 2020, where he matured into a left-back and went on to make 35 appearances, scoring one goal and contributing three assists.

After the completion of his loan at Charlton, Maatsen went on to spend another loan stint at Coventry City in 2021, where he emerged as an accomplished left-back, playing 42 games and recording three goals and one assist.

The 20-year-old is currently spending his 2022 season-long loan at Burnley, where he has established himself as a prominent player under head coach Vincent Kompany. He has featured in 23 games, scored four goals, and provided four assists.

Burnley have maintained its top spot in the Championship with 59 points, five points above Sheffield United as the club aims to return to the Premier League. He apparently chose to join the Clarets last summer as he seeked more playing time and to develop his skill.

Ian Maatsen of Burnley celebrates after scoring against Swansea City in January 2023. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Ian Maatsen of Burnley celebrates after scoring against Swansea City in January 2023. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

A move to the second division wasn’t because he did not have an offer from a first-tier team. In fact, Maatsen has revealed that he had the chance to join Feyenoord but he chose Burnley instead – a move that would surprise many. In an interview, Maatsen has shed light on this decision (h/t Burnley Express):

“This club has just come back from the Premier League, of course. Everything is a bit more professional. You notice that everyone is focused on a return to the highest level. I wanted to play at a club that competes for the top places, so with a different pressure.”

“I also think an attacking style of play is important; then I can show myself best. This is exactly what I had hoped for when I chose Burnley. The secret behind our success? We really are a team. Everyone gives everything to each other.”

Maatsen was just seven years old when Feyenoord FC released him due to his small stature, but the 20-year-old has made great strides since then. Summer interest from the Premier League, and Eredivisie giants Feyenoord, just goes to show how in-demand he has become.

Transfer News: Feyenoord plot move to sign Chelsea starlet Ian Maatsen.
Feyenoord plot move to sign Chelsea starlet Ian Maatsen.

However, the youngster will return to Chelsea following his loan period and will be hoping to get more playing time considering how he has improved into an adept left-back. It’s not that he won’t have competition here.

Ben Chilwell has been sidelined at several points in the past couple of years due to an injury, but one can imagine that he, along with Marc Cucurella will be at the top of Potter’s pecking order down that side. Unless one of them leaves, it would be hard to see Maatsen getting playing time here.

Cucurella hasn’t been impressive, so perhaps having the 20-year-old back in the team could provide vital competition for him. But for the sake of the player’s development, perhaps we should let him play elsewhere until and unless we can guarantee him playing time with us.

Chelsea must be pleased with the performances has put in on this particular loan spell. He will give Potter a welcome headache come the summer – whether we let him leave on loan for playing time once again, or we try and include him in our first-team set-up.

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It could be too early to do the latter, but we must ensure that we don’t lose him to another club on a permanent basis. He can be a real asset to us in the future.

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