Alongside the loan signing of Jadon Sancho from Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund have made a second loan signing from a Premier League club with Dutch full back Ian Maatsen arriving from Chelsea until the end of the season. Here we take a closer look at BVB’s latest acquisition.
Maatsen joined Feyenoord’s academy at the age of 7, but failed to make the grade as he was allegedly deemed too small. He moved to Sparta Rotterdam and then to PSV Eindhoven and it was there that he came to the attention of Chelsea’s youth scouts, who were impressed with his versatility having seen him play for the club and the Dutch U16 side.
He played in a number of defensive positions in the Chelsea academy and then in September 2019 he was included in the first-team squad for a League Cup tie against Grimsby with coach Frank Lampard bringing him on as a second-half substitute (Reece James made his debut on the same night).
Over the next three seasons, he was sent out on loan to gain experience, first in League 1 with Charlton, then in the Championship with both Coventry City and Burnley. He was named Player of the Year at Vincent Kompany’s Burnley last season as they won promotion to the Premier League.
He was recalled into the Chelsea squad this season and after two further starts in the League Cup, he was handed his Premier League debut on December 27th against Crystal Palace following 11 previous substitute appearances. His preferred position is at left back,but Chelsea have played him further forward as a winger at times.
At Dortmund he is seen as the perfect solution to their own left back issue. He has just signed a contract extension with Chelsea until 2026, but will now spend the rest of the season at the Signal Iduna Park as he looks to take his career to the next level.
Playing style wise, he can be compared in many ways to Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies as he loves to attack from deep, has good pace and likes to dribble at opponents.
What they’re saying:
Sebastian Kehl (sporting director): “Due to our current personnel situation, we have decided to take action again in the left-back position in the winter. With his strengths, Ian fits our requirements profile. He is a player who has a lot of speed, has a strong left foot and can also be used in various positions. We are very pleased that we were able to realise this loan before our first Bundesliga game of the year.”
Ian Maatsen: “Borussia Dortmund pursued me really intensely. I’ve been following BVB and its fans for a long time and was even at the Champions League game in Manchester in autumn 2022 to see the team live on the pitch. I’m very happy that the loan worked out. I promise that I will give everything for the team’s success and I’m really looking forward to the Yellow Wall.”
Mauricio Pochettino (Chelsea manager): “He’s in our squad and a great kid. He’s got great quality and can play in different positions but it’s about giving him time. He came from Burnley last season in the Championship. To perform at Chelsea, with all respect, is not the same and the competition is different.
“But he’s a player that is in our plans and, of course, we celebrate that he is with us because he is always helping us.”