Premier League side Chelsea are still considering the possibility of recalling promising left-back Ian Maatsen from his loan spell at Coventry City, according to Sky Sports News (10/1; 5:50pm).
The 19-year-old has been a key figure for Mark Robins’ men at wing-back this season, stepping in admirably for last season’s loanee Sam McCallum and enjoying a successful start to life at the Coventry Building Society Arena as the Sky Blues previously asserted themselves as unexpected top-six candidates.
Their form has tailed off since, but the Dutchman has remained one of the first names on the teamsheet in the West Midlands, developing well after spending last season on loan with League One outfit Charlton Athletic.
Quiz: Can you name which club Coventry City signed these 28 midfielders from?
He doesn’t look likely to be dropped anytime soon – but his time in the second tier could be coming to a premature end with Ben Chilwell set to remain out for the remainder of the season with his anterior cruciate ligament injury.
With the England international out of action, Marcus Alonso has re-established himself as the Blues’ first-choice option on the left side – but a lack of depth in that area has left Thomas Tuchel with many names under consideration.
Sky Sports are now reporting that Maatsen is still being considered as a potential option for the Champions League winners and may be recalled, in what would be a considerable blow to the Sky Blues.
Tuchel’s side are ‘only looking into the possibility’ of a return at this stage though, for the youngster who has made 21 Championship appearances this season. That may provide his current loan side with some much-needed hope.
The 19-year-old is currently developing well in the second tier, although it would be no surprise to see him win Premier League minutes if he was to make a return to Stamford Bridge.
As seen with Trevoh Chalobah, Tuchel certainly isn’t afraid of giving some of the club’s academy graduates a chance so instead of recruiting another left-back and stifling Maatsen’s progress when he returns with another option potentially coming in, it may make sense for them to recall him now.
However, the Dutchman is at a very delicate stage of his career considering the hype surrounding him, so minutes on the pitch have to be the priority at this stage and they could be limited at the Bridge, even with Chilwell’s long-term injury.
This is why they should be looking at recalling 27-year-old Emerson from Lyon, who could potentially be more ready to take on the challenge of the top flight at this stage than the promising Coventry loanee.
Chelsea need to acknowledge that Coventry is the perfect place for him to progress as a club seemingly on its way up under a capable manager, also playing a system that suits his strengths as a valuable contributor going forward.