Ian Maatsen is likely to leave Chelsea in the January transfer window with Premier League rivals Liverpool reportedly keeping tabs on the highly-rated full-back.
In the absence of Andy Robertson – who dislocated his shoulder during the October international break – the onus was on Kostas Tsimikas to step up and prove that the drop-off between Liverpool’s first-choice left-back and the second is not like going from a Ferrari to a Fiat.
A disappointing display in Saturday’s 2-0 Merseyside derby victory over Everton, however, was hardly the impression Tsimikas would have wanted to make when stepping into Robertson’s shoes. The Greek international lasted just 62 minutes, having struggled to emulate the Scot’s usual thrust and quality on the flank.
As such, TEAMtalk believe that Jurgen Klopp is keen to add an influx of ‘quality’ on the left-hand side as Robertson approaches his 30th birthday. Which is where young Ian Maatsen comes in.
Liverpool eye Chelsea’s Ian Maatsen
Maatsen, the report adds, is ‘set to leave Chelsea’ in the winter. Manchester City spoke to his camp over the summer and one suspects the former Burnley loanee would be keen to hold talks with Liverpool too. He recently turned down a £31.5 million permanent switch to Turf Moor and would only consider leaving Stamford Bridge for a so-called ‘top club’ capable of fighting for the biggest prizes.
Liverpool certainly tick that box.
The diminutive Dutchman, eight years Robertson’s junior at just 21, would arguably be an upgrade on the fiery-but-limited Tsimikas, while adding further flexibility to Klopp’s ranks. Maatsen, who has featured in six of Chelsea’s nine Premier League games this term, is a left-back by trade but can also perform further forward or even on the right-hand side, cutting in.
‘Such a clever player’
“I am so happy with him. He is a player that can play in different positions,” Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino told The Blues‘ website of the one-time Charlton Athletic and Coventry City man.
“He has quality, he understands the game, and he is such a clever player.”
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