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Ian Maatsen: Why it would be unwise for Chelsea to sell the Bayern Munich & Borussia Dortmund transfer target 

Chelsea left-back Ian Maatsen returned to the club last summer after a stellar season with Burnley in the Championship, helping the Clarets climb into the Premier League.

A successful loan meant the Blues had to integrate him into the first-team, and there was every reason for the club to, with Marc Cucurella disappointing following his £57 million move from Brighton & Hove Albion.

Also, Chelsea’s first-choice left-back for the past four years, Ben Chiwell, has struggled with injuries which have blighted his consistency.

However, Maatsen returned to the club in pre-season and found it difficult to cement a place in the side. Manager Mauricio Pochettino managed to play him everywhere but his actual left-back position. 

The 22-year-old got frustrated (rightly so) and went to Borussia Dortmund on loan in January, where he has resumed his excellent showings. He has helped Dortmund keep four clean sheets while bagging a goal and creating three big chances in ten Bundesliga appearances.

Maatsen has also won 51% of his duels in those games, recording 3.08 progressive carries and 5.05 passes per 90. 

Many clubs would rush to bring him back from his loan, showing that they have learnt from their mistake, but not Chelsea. 

The West Londoners keep sounding out that they want to sell Maatsen and sign a new young left-back, while Dortmund and Bayern Munich plot to snap up the gem they have on their hands.

This is not the first time that Chelsea have sold the talents in hand in search of doves in the wind. The past two seasons have seen the club ship off homegrown talents after shelling out over a billion pounds to sign new players.

The Blues have spent millions upon millions to fill the gap with unprepared youngsters like Lesley Ugochukwu, Andrey Santos, Cesare Casadei, Carney Chukwuemeka, Angelo Gabriel, David Datro Fofana, and more while allowing talented players to go.

It is idiotic that they have made this mistake time and time without learning from it. When will the front office learn to make smarter decisions in the market?

Why sell a budding left-back with so much potential to go into the market to look for a slightly more expensive version of what you have at home?

This transfer approach is unsustainable, and the trend of neglecting promising youth at home needs to be addressed. 

Chelsea have already sold Mason Mount and plan on selling more Cobham Academy graduates like Conor Gallagher, Trevoh Chalobah, and Armando Broja to keep in line with the Profit and Sustainability Rules that they breached signing inferior players. What message does this send to the players currently in the youth set-up?

The club has made this mistake too many times not to draw lessons. Matseen’s recent Bundesliga exploits underscore his potential and the missed opportunity for Chelsea to harness homegrown talent effectively.

Developing Maatsen into a first-team left-back would be a more cost-effective solution than looking for a potentially overpriced player in the transfer market. 

There are systemic flaws in Chelsea’s transfer strategy and youth development approach. Rectifying these issues is imperative for the club’s long-term success and sustainability.

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