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Aston Villa agree £35m deal with Chelsea for Ian Maatsen

Ian Maatsen

According to David Ornstein in The Athletic, Chelsea have agreed to sell Ian Maatsen to Aston Villa for just over £35 million, with personal terms having already been agreed.

The 22 year old has been with the Blues since 2018, making just 16 senior appearances for the club to date, totally a mere 402 minutes, his only starts coming against Crystal Palace in the Premier League, as well as AFC Wimbledon and Brighton & Hove Albion in early rounds of the EFL Cup.

However, he has caught the eye during various loan spells, representing Charlton Athletic, Coventry City and Burnley, a key figure as Vincent Kompany’s side won the EFL Championship title in 2023.

After sporadic appearances for Chelsea in the first half of the season, Maatsen was then sent on loan to Borussia Dortmund in January, making 23 appearances for die Schwarzgelben, scoring against Union Berlin, Darmstadt and Atlético Madrid, a key figure as they reached the Champions League Final, starting all seven matches in that competition.

Dortmund had a £35 million option to buy included in his loan deal, something they have declined to do, with Aston Villa instead agreeing a similar fee with Chelsea to take the Dutchman to the Midlands.

Football Insider suggests that Maatsen has agreed to sign a five-year contract worth around £100,000-a-week with Villa, so the move is expected to go through soon.

Maatsen’s sale eases Chelsea’s PSR concerns

Having spent almost £1 billion since Todd Boehly’s Clearlake Capital bought Chelsea from Roman Abramovich, the club are constantly concerned about balancing the books, ensuring they do not fall foul of Profitability and Suitability Rules.

In the last two years, academy graduates Mason Mount, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Andreas Christensen and Billy Gilmour have all been sold because the transfer fees received can, in accountancy terms, but registered as ‘pure profit’, with Maatsen following this trend.

Why are Aston Villa breaking the bank for Maatsen?

Maatsen is set to become the second-most expensive transfer in Aston Villa’s history, behind only Moussa Diaby, who arrived from Bayer Leverkusen for £51.3 million a year ago.

Left-back has been a bit of a problem position for Unai Emery, with Lucas Digne having been first choice, although his Villa career his been plagued by persistent injuries, making him an unreliable option.

Àlex Moreno meanwhile is a more than capable deputy, but has been nothing more than serviceable since joining from Real Betis, so could return to La Liga this summer.

Having qualified for the Champions League, set to compete in UEFA’s top-tier competition for the first time since 1982/83, the Claret and Blue Army will require greater squad depth, especially at full-back, a key position in Emery’s narrow system, and Maatsen is certainly an upgrade on what they currently have, especially in attacking areas.

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