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From Chelsea reject to Dortmund hero: Ian Maatsen shocked to be overlooked by Blues

Ian Maatsen has opened up about his surprise exclusion from the Chelsea first team, expressing his gratitude for the opportunity to showcase his talents at Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League.

Chelsea’s on-loan fullback Ian Maatsen has emerged as a star player for Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League, despite being overlooked by the Blues.

After a successful spell on loan at Premier League newcomers Burnley last season, the 22-year-old Dutch defender was expected to challenge for a spot in Chelsea’s first team.

Maatsen aims dig at Chelsea after Dortmund heroics

However, he was limited to just one appearance for the London club before being sent out on loan again, this time to the Bundesliga giants.

But Maatsen has seized his opportunity in Germany and his recent performance against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League has left the youngster and many scratching their heads as to why he was not given a chance at Stamford Bridge.

Ian Maatsen

“It was a surprise (on not getting a chance at Chelsea),” Maatsen admitted per a Yahoo Sports report. “I always had the belief to play for Chelsea but unfortunately for some reason, it didn’t work out.”

On Tuesday night, the youngster’s first Champions League proved decisive as Dortmund came from behind to secure a 4-2 victory over Atletico, for a 5-4 aggregate win and a semi-final date with Paris Saint-Germain.

Ian Maatsen

“Now I’m here, I’m very grateful for this opportunity and this moment,” he added. “I can say I’m very proud of myself, kept believing in myself and came here to play my game at the highest level.”

Maatsen’s impressive display has not gone unnoticed, with his performances for Dortmund highlighting the wealth of talent Chelsea have in their ranks.

And with a reported £35m release clause in his contract, the Blues may have a tough decision to make on the future of the young Dutch defender.

For now, Maatsen is relishing the chance to showcase his abilities on the grandest stage of European club football.

His resilience and self-belief in the face of adversity at Chelsea have paid dividends and the defender will be hoping to continue his impressive form as Dortmund aim to upset the odds and secure a spot in the Champions League final.

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