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Ian Maatsen can give Chelsea £35m transfer boost but cost Todd Boehly more after that

Ian Maatsen gas impressed on loan at Borussia Dortmund from Chelsea
-Credit: (Image: Hendrik Deckers/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images)


While his parent club may have had to settle for a place in the Europa Conference League next season, Ian Maatsen could well be a Champions League winner by this evening.

The 22-year-old Dutch left-back has been on loan at Borussia Dortmund since January from Chelsea, helping propel the Black and Yellow to tonight’s Champions League final at London’s Wembley Stadium. While for some players who Chelsea paid big money for have seen their transfer market values fall over the last 12 months or so, the likes of Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez springing to mind, for Maatsen, who arrived into the Chelsea youth system in 2018 from PSV Eindhoven, it has been a season of significant growth.

According to Transfermarkt, Maatsen’s market value stands at €40m, while the data from analysts at the CIES Football Observatory peg it at half that. With a release clause of £35m (€41m) it would suggest that the former is closer to the mark, especially with Dortmund considering triggering the option to try and keep the defender at the Westfalenstadion permanently.

Maatsen’s loan success offers Chelsea the chance to realise a significantly enhanced fee than would have been expected if he would have had to kick his heels on the fringes at Stamford Bridge for the second half of the season. As an academy graduate, he offers Chelsea the chance for pure profit, all £35m of it that can be realised as soon as the deal is done, a sum of money that would aid the club’s profit and sustainability (PSR) position ahead of the end of the financial year, or give them a welcome boost early in the next.

The problem for Chelsea is that while it may be a win for the current situation in which they find themselves, they are likely to have to sell a playing asset before maturity and leave a lot of money on the table in doing so because they were unable to provide the platform for such growth themselves. A Champions League final appearance will only serve to burnish Maatsen’s reputation and put him the crosshairs of other clubs, and he is unlikely to want to return to Stamford Bridge to become a bit-part player once more.

It has been a loan deal that has seen his stock, and value rise significantly, but one where the full value likely won’t be realised by the London club because of the log-jam of playing options at Chelsea, allied with the profile of the player and the stage on which he is performing. For Dortmund, if a deal can be concluded, it would represent remarkable business.

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A player who arrived at no real cost, who has aided the club’s journey to a Champions League final, with Bundesliga side already having earned £102m so far in this European campaign. It has been a deal that has aided both competitive and financial needs for Dortmund at a time when his parent club have faced challenges with both of those things.

For Chelsea, a sale will deliver short-term benefits, but in the long run, it may not be viewed in such a favourable light.