“Show The World Who I Am” – Former Coventry City Ace Ahead Of Europe’s Biggest Game

A fantastic Champions League run has culminated in a final stage place for Borussia Dortmund. One man who will be ecstatic to achieve such a prestigious European milestone is former Coventry City and Burnley loanee, Ian Maatsen.

The Dutch defender has worked his way through the academy at Chelsea since his first recorded game in July 2018. Several loan spells in the Championship, before a flavour of Bundesliga football with Dortmund this season, has raised plenty of eyebrows at Mauricio Pochettino’s decision to let the 22-year-old leave again. Having had two impressive, full seasons in the second tier, Maatsen quickly became a fan favourite for both clubs and has now performed at the highest level in Europe.

In the 2021/22 season, the Netherlands international featured 42 times for Coventry, offering three goals from the wing-back position. In the same amount of appearances the following season, this time for the Clarets, Maatsen scored four and caught the attention of his parent club. Unfortunately, 15 appearances for his home club later, the left-back had been played in all sorts of positions and never settled into a dysfunctional Premier League side. His recent move to the German giants, however, has instilled his confidence going forward again and nurtured his defensive stability.

Speaking exclusively to the Telegraph, prior to Dortmund’s 1-0 triumph over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League first-leg, the ex-Charlton Athletic loanee described what it felt like witnessing Chelsea lift the European title and his subsequent urge to repeat the glory himself.

“I watched the 2021 final at home actually with some of my old team-mates. When Chelsea won, we were all happy. I felt like I was part of it after being around those guys to train and keep memories together. It was special they won it.

“Also, a few other young players that I played with there went to travel to the final in Porto. They called me on FaceTime from there, it was unbelievable.

“I told myself ‘one day, I want to be one of those guys to be on the biggest stage, to show the world who I am, show the quality I have.’ And now I have this opportunity, it’s crazy.”

Dortmund and Maatsen dealt with the threat of PSG, as they beat the French giants 1-0 home and away to secure their place against either Real Madrid, or German compatriots, Bayern Munich. They kept a clean sheet in both affairs and nullified all attacking threats. From Championship football, to shining on the biggest stage, the Dutch left-back has emerged as a real gem.

Writer’s View

The jump from Championship football, to featuring several times in the Premier League, to starting against Kylian Mbappe in a Champions League semi-final, should inspire many others who have experienced similar loan spells to believe they can do the same. Maatsen is deservedly recognised by Dortmund fans as a consistent performer; the EFL sides: Coventry, Charlton, and Burnley have a larger claim to his growth than Chelsea do.

If Dortmund lift the trophy, then the 22-year-old’s rapid rise to glory will be a huge achievement. Getting to the final itself is already very impressive and Maatsen deserves enormous praise for his determination to keep performing despite being loaned out four times by his employers.

 

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