Chelsea youngster Ian Maatsen has hinted he will need to make a ‘difficult choice’ if his game time under Mauricio Pochettino does not improve.

The 21-year-old had a host of suitors in the summer off the back of an excellent loan season in the Championship but ultimately decided to snub a permanent move to Burnley and fight for his place at Stamford Bridge.

However, Maatsen has struggled to break into the team and is yet to start in the Premier League this season, making seven substitute appearances for a combined total of 107 minutes.

He was called up to the senior Netherlands squad in September but lost his place for the most recent round of international fixtures, dropping down to the Under-21s.

Maatsen still harbours hopes of making the Dutch squad for next summer’s European Championships but he knows he needs to be playing regularly for that to happen – and may, ultimately, need to leave Chelsea.

Speaking to Algemeen Dagblad, Maatsen explained: ‘The European Championship, that’s what I’m secretly hoping for.

‘I think I have also shown myself well to the national coach during training [back in September].

‘I also know that I have to play more for that. I still think that is possible at Chelsea.

‘As a young player you always want more. I gain confidence from the trainer’s words and I am ready when the opportunity comes.

‘In the meantime, I have to keep all options open. I may have to make difficult choices later, but then the club will indicate that.’

Asked about his relationship with Pochettino, Maatsen continued: ‘The manager told me, “You have everything a player needs”.

‘We have built up a good relationship, also because he is very open. His door is open for everyone to talk. He also wants to learn from his players.’

Chelsea have had something of a selection dilemma at left-back this season, with Levi Colwill initially preferred there and Ben Chilwell pushed further forward, but the latter’s injury still did not open up opportunities for Maatsen with Marc Cucurella preferred recently.

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