Chelsea’s left-back situation just doesn’t seem to be letting up. After failing to rectify the situation in the January transfer window, the Blues remain without a dream replacement for Ben Chilwell. Surprisingly, they did not go in for Lucas Digne, who Aston Villa has now snatched up. They also failed to recall Emerson Palmieri, which was to be expected.
Both of these players are doing well for their respective teams whilst Chelsea battles with the rotation of Marcos Alonso and Malang Sarr.
Alonso struggled at left wing-back in their Champions League tie against Lille while their loanee and a ticket into the future Ian Maatsen was banging in a goal for Coventry City. It makes you think about what could be.
Alonso caused Thomas Tuchel to call on Malang Sarr late in the game. Whilst Alonso struggled to dominate, Chelsea’s loanee Maatsen scored a goal in Coventry City’s 2-1 win against Bristol City.
Making the run to catch Gustavo Hamer’s through ball, Maatsen met the ball with a left-footed shot across the goal to land in the bottom right corner. I can’t say that I haven’t seen Alonso score many of these similar goals before, but I couldn’t help but liken it to Reece James.
James has shown he is comfortable in several roles and something very much needed to fit into Tuchels ever-changing system. His time on loan at Wigan saw him finish the season playing a midfield role. Since his return to Chelsea, James has been played in several positions from right centre-back of a back three to left wing-back in Chilwells absence to stop the threat of Tariq Lamptey and filling in from time to time in midfield.
Maatsen has been showing this type of adaptability while on loan. Last season at Charlton, he started in a left-back role in a back four and finished last season off at right-wing after playing at times at left-wing. In recent matches for Coventry, he’s been used in a more advanced left-wing role giving him license to use his attacking threat to great use.
I look at James and think that Maatsen could potentially be walking in his shoes. His talent was unquestionable, and he gave Chelsea several reasons to bring him back home. In fact, he was so good that he has captained the Latics in his last game of the season to get a standing ovation from the Wigan supporters. A romantic tale that ultimately led him to the Chelsea starting lineup today.
Just like you, we can’t get enough of Chelsea! That’s why we’ve decided to supplement our expansive Chelsea coverage on football.london with a more fan-oriented platform catered specifically to Chelsea fans – CareFreeChelsea.
Writers and presenters who share your passion for the Blues will be producing written, visual and audio content to reflect the mood in the stands as well as the press box.
And don’t forget to subscribe to our CareFreeChelsea YouTube channel for regular videos from the team, as well as special guest shows and every single Thomas Tuchel press conference.
You can also sign up for our daily CareFreeChelsea newsletter to read all of our best stuff every single day.
The future is extremely bright for the 19-year-old. Whether or not we see him in Chelsea blue next season will be down to Tuchel and his transfer window business. I fear that we could potentially lose a prospect that could be as important as Reece James is for this team in a couple of years time.
Make sure you have subscribed to CareFree Chelsea on YouTube! The Fan Brands team along with plenty of your football.london favourites will be producing daily Chelsea content for you to enjoy including match reactions, podcasts, football fun and interviews. You can follow Anita Abayomi from the CareFreeChelsea team to keep up to date with her work. If you enjoyed reading this then give her other articles a read below.