Ian Maatsen to Aston Villa transfer update after Chelsea agree £37.5m deal

Chelsea will bank £37.5m for Ian Maatsen
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Hendrik Deckers/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images)

The signing of Ian Maatsen will be a statement of intent by Aston Villa so early in the summer transfer window.

Villa agreed a deal with Chelsea worth £37.5m for Maatsen last week and he is now set to sign a six-year contract. The length of the deal handed out by Villa is a shrewd move with Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR) in mind as the payment will be split into several years.

Both clubs are working to raise money before the end of the month as Chelsea continue talks with Jhon Duran after being granted permission to speak with the striker. Meanwhile, Villa are close to completing a multiple swap deal with Juventus which will see Douglas Luiz head to Turin for around €30m plus Juve duo Samuel Iling-Junior and Enzo Barrenechea after talks stalled over a move for Weston McKennie.

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Villa's president of business operations Monchi has wasted no time in the past month to organise deals which would see Villa continue to comply with PSR while also making the best out of the challenging circumstances. And once Villa get the signing of Maatsen over the line, it would mark as good a start to the window as possible all things considered.

Of course, McKennie was one of the players Villa wanted to take from Juventus as part of the Luiz deal, but in Barrenechea they'd receive a holding midfielder with bags of potential for Emery to unlock. The same can be said for Iling-Junior.

Meanwhile, Maatsen is still only 22 years old and has played 158 games in senior football, 16 of which at Chelsea and 23 at Borussia Dortmund last season. His final game for the German club was the Champions League final at Wembley earlier this month. Dortmund would love to re-sign Maatsen, but simply couldn't afford to at least match Villa's offer and therefore ruled themselves out of the race earlier this week.

Since the final, Maatsen has had little time to rest as he was forced to cut his holiday in Greece short when he received Ronald Koeman's call to join up with the Netherlands squad for Euro 2024. The defender is yet to be handed his international debut after playing a multitude of games at numerous youth levels.

He was scouted by Chelsea's recruitment team while playing in the Netherlands for the under-16 national team and his former club, PSV Eindhoven. He joined the Blues in the summer of 2018 as a teenager and signed his first professional contract at the club in March 2019 before making his senior debut in September of that same year at the age of 17.

In October 2020, Maatsen enjoyed his first loan spell away from Chelsea at League One side Charlton, where he played 35 times and scored his first professional goal against Doncaster while playing as a right winger. He then made the step-up to the Championship the following season after signing for Coventry City on loan for the duration of the 2021/22 campaign.

He became a regular starter at left-wing back and made 41 appearances across all competitions and was named their Young Player of the Year. A third move, and a return to the Championship, came the following year, when Vincent Kompany signed him for Burnley.

It was there that Maatsen continued to develop into one of the most exciting left-backs in the country before returning to Chelsea with a point to prove. However, he was used sparingly by Mauricio Pochettino last term, before joining Borussia Dortmund on loan for the second half of the campaign.

He recorded four goal contributions in 16 Bundesliga games and also played a key role in the club's journey to the Champions League final, featuring in all seven of the European matches he could after joining in January. He was later named in the Champions League Team of the Season, as selected by UEFA's technical observer panel.

"Ian is a very young player, but already has a lot of experience under his belt," former Dortmund boss Edin Terzic said. "He brings a lot to the table, both from a technical and physical standpoint. He gives us another dimension in the build-up play because he also feels very comfortable in the middle."

Indeed, Maatsen added a new dimension to Dortmund's game following his loan move from Chelsea. Clearly capable of dominating the left wing and even adept at attacking from the right, Maatsen also proved his capability to operate in central areas last season.

When Dortmund had possession of the ball, Maatsen often tucked inside to stretch the opponent's man-marking strategy. It then allowed the Dortmund winger, sometimes Jaden Sancho, to take advantage of more space in the attacking third.

Maatsen is a proficient ball-carrier which was key in build-up for Dortmund last season. The left-back recorded 2.74 progressive carries last season and received nearly four progressive passes per 90.

In possession he excelled, recording (per 90) 85 per cent pass completion, 68 passes completed and 5.35 progressive passes too. He demonstrated a range of technical attributes under Terzic as he was afforded freedom to operate within each of the thirds.

While it's unclear how exactly Emery wants to utilise Maatsen at Villa, the Dutch international would allow his side to build-up in a variety of ways and attack with more energy on the left.

Defensively, Maatsen impressed while playing in a back four at Dortmund. He registered (per 90) 1.20 interceptions, 1.6 blocks and nearly 3.00 clearances last term.

As Villa gear up for their first Champions League campaign, signing a player who featured in last season's Team of the Season would mark a strong start to the summer. Losing Luiz is a blow, but a necessary one due to PSR, and his departure allows Villa to add other more profiles to their squad.

More players will join and leave the club this summer, but with Monchi, Emery and Damian Vidagany in charge, come August Villa will be ready to attack a season full of excitement and opportunity.

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