West Ham United eyeing Chelsea’s attacking full-back as potential defensive upgrade

As the summer transfer window progresses, West Ham United is not only focusing on midfield replacements but is also actively seeking upgrades in other positions. The Hammers have been linked with various targets, including centre-back Luiz Felipe and strikers Folarin Balogun and Habib Diallo. However, it seems the club is also eyeing an exciting attacking full-back option in Ian Maatsen from Chelsea.

Ian Maatsen, who starred on loan for Burnley in the Championship last season, has caught the attention of several clubs, and West Ham is reportedly one of the interested parties. Burnley has decided not to meet Chelsea’s £20m asking price to secure the defender permanently, leaving the door open for the Hammers to make a move for the Dutchman.

The 19-year-old left-back had an impressive campaign with Burnley, earning recognition as he was named in the EFL Championship Team of the Season and received the Player of the Month award for January. His performances were highlighted by four Man of the Match accolades, showcasing his significant impact on the pitch.

As an attacking full-back, Maatsen demonstrated his prowess by contributing four goals and providing six assists in 39 appearances. His attacking abilities place him in the top 13% of full-backs across leagues similar in quality to the Championship, as per FBref. In terms of assists, he ranks in the top 16%.

Comparing Maatsen to West Ham’s current left-back, Aaron Cresswell, the Dutch talent seems to offer a more attack-minded approach. He averaged 0.27 goals or assists per 90 minutes, a considerable contrast to Cresswell’s 0.04 goals or assists per 90 minutes in the Premier League. This suggests that David Moyes is looking for an offensive upgrade at left-back.

Defensively, Maatsen also shows promise, outperforming Cresswell in crucial metrics such as tackles won per 90 minutes, blocks per 90, and interceptions per 90. He also boasts a higher pass-completion percentage and touches of the ball per 90.

Described as a “superb” player by Manchester Evening News reporter Alex James, Ian Maatsen appears destined to play in the Premier League next season. West Ham fans hope to see him donning the Hammers’ jersey, as he could be a significant defensive asset for the club in the coming years.