Chelsea want £20m for academy product – but would prefer not to sell at all

Chelsea have got themselves into quite the conundrum with Ian Maatsen.

The left back has been steadily building an impressive career on a series of loans after coming through our academy, but instead of being patient we spent a huge amount of money on Marc Cucurella last summer to back up Ben Chilwell. He has largely disappointed.

Maatsen then went on to have the most impressive season of his career so far, starring for Burnley as they romped to the Championship title. By rights he should be stepping up to the first team this summer, but we’ve now got Cucurella on our books and nowhere to shift him.

Instead, as we’ve seen time and again in Chelsea’s recent history, it will be the academy kid who cost nothing who gets shunted out. Liam Twomey’s piece on the Athletic today reveals that Burnley have already offered £15m to make the move permanent, while Chelsea are holding out for £20m.

It’s mentioned in there that Chelsea “have not ruled out keeping him” – but it’s hard to see how that works. We could loan him out again, and he may do brilliantly again, but then he will just be a year closer to the end of his contract and we will still have Cucurella blocking his path to the first team.

As it stands, by far the most likely outcome is us once again selling a brilliant academy player for below their potential value, just so we can cram an expensive and disappointing signing into the squad.

Chelsea News