Ian Maatsen sent 'serious' Chelsea message after PSG win amid subtle transfer hint

Chelsea defender Ian Maatsen on loan at Borussia Dortmund

Ian Maatsen isn't the first player to leave Chelsea in the recent past and go on to thrive elsewhere, even if it is a small sample size. The way things are going at the club, he won't be the last.

The 22-year-old is now just 90 minutes from playing in a Champions League final having been fourth choice left-back at Stamford Bridge just over four months ago. Pitched up against Kylian Mbappe and his band of expensively assembled Paris Saint-Germain teammates, it is Maatsen and Borussia Dortmund who have the advantage.

They will take a 1-0 aggregate lead into the second-leg of the semi-final next week in France after Niklas Fullkrug scored the only goal of the game at Signal Iduna Park. Alongside on-loan Manchester United attacker Jadon Sancho, it was the Premier League outcasts who got the job done.

Maatsen was faced with the more threatening right side of PSG on the night. He managed to shut down Ousmane Dembele as well as Warren Zaire-Emery from midfield and the attacking full-back Achraf Hakimi.

With an impressive two tackles as well as four clearances, 37 successful passes, and one big chance created, it was yet another top display from the Dutchman. Now, with just three weeks left of the domestic season in Germany, he has a big summer ahead of him.

Chelsea tied him down to a new contract - albeit just a one-year extension - before allowing him to leave on loan in January. There is a release clause of around £35million included, and the Blues are seeking to make money as quickly as possible in order to comply with Premier League financial regulations.

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Maatsen had been a favourite under Mauricio Pochettino in pre-season, though. Starting games on the right wing, where he previously played at Charlton as a teenager in his first taste of senior football, he was one of the top performers in America last year.

Come the start of the season and an injury to Christopher Nkunku throwing most of the plans out of the door, Maatsen found game time hard to come by. He started just three games in all competitions, often moved around into unfamiliar roles as a substitute late on as well.

He was behind not only Ben Chilwell on the left side but also Levi Colwill out of position and Marc Cucurella. Having fought to stay at the club following interest from Burnley on deadline day, he was forced to look elsewhere for opportunities.

In Germany he has certainly found that. Now, taking so social media after the PSG victory, he continues to catch the eye of his Chelsea friends. "Worked as one team and will continue together in Paris! Big up for the impressive support [yellow and black heart emojnis]" he wrote on Instagram.

Replying to him were several of Chelsea's finest. "Serious" said Malo Gusto simply. Meanwhile, Omari Hutchinson (another loanee having a grand time away from the club) added, "Player".

Carney Chukwuemeka wrote, "Maats [clapping and flame emojis". Trevoh Chalobah put a flame emoji himself whilst fellow Dutchman, and Tottenham ace, Micky van de Ven also posted a fire emoji.

Only last week Maatsen opened up on his decision to leave Chelsea once more in search of more game time. “I think the belief from the [Dortmund] board, the coach, the technical directors, they’re all on the same page," he told the Telegraph. "They all believe in me that I’m a talented player who can perform at the highest level and they gave me this opportunity.

“I think it’s special for players, young players, to come to this big club like BVB and show their skills to the whole world. I’m really grateful for this opportunity.” He added that it was tough to stay at Chelsea between September and December without being given many opportunities.

“Yeah, it plays with your mind, but I still believed my chance would come by being patient, working hard," he explained. "For some reason, it didn’t work out and afterwards you have to find a solution and the deal happened between Dortmund and Chelsea. Also I need to thank Chelsea that I’m here and they gave me that opportunity.”