Maatsen, 21, was thrust straight into the starting XI against Darmstadt just days after joining BVB and he impressed as a marauding left-back in Edin Terzic’s back four system.
The former Burnley loanee backed that up with another eye-catching display versus Koln as he grabbed a beautiful assist for Donyell Malen on Saturday.
With Koln on the attack, Maatsen tackled Rasmus Carstensen just outside the Dortmund penalty area, carried the ball towards the halfway line and lofted a perfect through ball into Malen’s path; the ex-Arsenal academy star raced through to score his second goal of the game.
Why wasn’t Ian Maatsen used at Chelsea?
Maatsen’s defending was questioned by Mauricio Pochettino and that is why he was never really trusted at left-back during the opening six months of the 2023-24 campaign, despite an injury crisis in that position.
Pochettino opted to use Maatsen in a more advanced role, despite his natural position being at left-back, and he struggled for meaningful minutes amid competition from Raheem Sterling, Mykhailo Mudryk, Cole Palmer and Noni Madueke.
However, Chelsea could well regret their decision to send Maatsen out on loan, even though they managed to ensure he signed a new contract at Stamford Bridge before heading to Germany.
Ben Chilwell’s injury record is patchy at best, while Marc Cucurella has been underwhelming since his big-money move from Brighton & Hove Albion in 2022.
Sending Maatsen on loan has evidently helped the Dutchman regain his confidence and it may well drive up his transfer value before a potential sale this summer, but given Chelsea’s attacking woes this year, offloading a left-back with Maatsen’s creativity may prove to be a mistake.
Levi Colwill isn’t suited to that role and although he was impressive against Fulham last weekend, the England international is limited in the attacking third.
With Chelsea often struggling to break down deep blocks, Maatsen would have been a useful asset from deep, as seen by the fact he notched four goals and six assists for Burnley last season.
However, Pochettino didn’t trust him and Maatsen is now displaying just what he is capable of in the Bundesliga.