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Why Chelsea must keep £35m-rated Bayern & Dortmund target

Chelsea left-back Ian Maatsen returned to the club last summer after helping Burnley win promotion from the Championship last season.

A successful loan meant the Blues had to integrate him into the squad, especially with Marc Cucurella disappointing following his £57 million move from Brighton & Hove Albion.

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

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

The 22-year-old subsequently Borussia Dortmund on loan, where he has resumed his excellent performances.

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 Blues want to sell Maatsen and sign a new young left-back, while Dortmund and Bayern Munich plot to sign him this summer.

This is not the first time Chelsea have sold players they should retain. The past two seasons have seen the club ship off homegrown talents after spending over a billion pounds to sign new players.

The Blues have spent millions to fill the gap with unprepared youngsters such as Lesley Ugochukwu, Andrey Santos, Cesare Casadei, Carney Chukwuemeka, Angelo Gabriel, David Datro Fofana and more.

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 and 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. 

Having already sold Mason Mount, Chelsea plan to sell more Cobham Academy graduates such as Conor Gallagher, Trevoh Chalobah and Armando Broja to keep in line with the Profit and Sustainability Rules they breached signing inferior players.

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 searching for a potentially overpriced player in the transfer market. 

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

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