Report: Celtic were interested in Chelsea youngster Ian Maatsen; chose experience in Diego Laxalt

By David Walton

October 14, 2020

Celtic were interested in taking Chelsea left-back Ian Maatsen to Parkhead this summer, the Daily Mail reports.

Maatsen has just completed a move to Charlton Athletic on a season-long loan, but the 18-year-old could’ve reportedly found himself plying his trade with the Scottish Premiership champions instead.

The Daily Mail states that Neil Lennon failed to sign the youngster after interest earlier in the transfer window. Had Celtic signed him on loan, it would’ve been the player’s first loan spell. He’ll now carry that out with League One side Charlton.

Ian Maatsen has only played once for Chelsea (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

In the end, Celtic bolstered their left side by choosing experience and quality in Uruguayan international Diego Laxalt. The defender arrived at Parkhead from AC Milan in a deadline-day loan, and appears ready to go straight into the side.

Maatsen, however, has yet to be tested at senior level having made only one cameo appearance in a first-team game throughout his entire career.

Maatsen looks a prospect but Celtic chose well

Maatsen certainly looks like one to look out for in the future. The Mail reports that he’s very highly thought of at Stamford Bridge, and he’s also an under-18 international with the Netherlands.

His debut for Chelsea came in an EFL Cup clash at home to Grimsby Town back in September 2019 when he came on for the final 24 minutes. In addition to that, he managed to bag a spot on their bench against Bayern Munich in the Champions League last-16 stage last season.

However, that’s nothing compared to the pressure that would’ve been on his shoulders in the 10-in-a-row season at Parkhead. Had he joined, he would’ve been thrown into a heated battle where there is a demand to win every week. For what Celtic need this season, giving a player their first ever senior run in that kind of environment would’ve been risky.

Celtic man Diego Laxalt / (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images)

That’s why the Hoops can be delighted with what they have in Laxalt. He has 170 Serie A appearances to his name and 24 Uruguay caps too (Transfermarkt). Not to mention he was a key player for them during their 2018 World Cup campaign.

Maatsen would likely only have been worth a punt if we were talking a permanent deal. Bringing a youngster in with no first-team experience in a season-long loan wouldn’t have gone down too well with supporters.

Yet another reason to credit the board for their decisions throughout the summer window.

In other news, a report has outlined AC Milan’s plan for their captain ahead of their trip to Celtic Park.