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Chelsea are in a race against time to secure the long-term future of Ian Maatsen. The 21-year-old defender was heavily linked with an exit from Stamford Bridge in the summer following his impressive performances while out on loan at Burnley.

Maatsen featured 39 times for Vincent Kompany’s side in the Championship last season, directly contributing towards ten goals from left-back. The Netherlands Under-21 international played a crucial role in the Clarets’ promotion campaign, reportedly courting the interest of several top clubs in Europe.

However, despite facing an uncertain future, Mauricio Pochettino went above and beyond to keep Maatsen in west London. The Dutchman was granted a starring role in pre-season, often slotting in at centre-midfield and on the right-wing.

Maatsen impressed and he looked set to be a key player for the Blues this term – but, after seven games into the new Premier League season, he’s played just 83 minutes. Even with Ben Chilweill out of action due to injury, Pochettino persevered with Levi Colwill at left-back.

While his opportunities may not suggest so, the Chelsea manager is a big admirer of Maatsen. In an interview with the club’s official website over the summer, Pochettino said: “I am so happy with him. He is a player that can play in different positions.

“He has quality, he understands the game, and he is such a clever player. So far, he is in my plan, yes. I am so pleased with him, as I’ve said, because of his attitude, commitment and his understanding of the game.”

Despite earning Pochettino’s trust, Maatsen still faces an uncertain future at Chelsea with his contract set to expire at the end of the season – and actions speak louder than words. Since the 51-year-old’s gushing assessment of the youngster, he’s hardly had a look in.

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