Ian Maatsen started his third consecutive game of pre-season during Chelsea’s 1-1 draw against Newcastle United on Thursday.
The Blues continued preparations for the new campaign with a draw against their Premier League rivals.
Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson, who’s having a very eye-catching pre-season, opened the scoring with a composed low finish. Miguel Almiron equalised for Newcastle before half-time, though.
In fairness, some late heroics from Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope ensured the teams finished level.
Maatsen, 21, was included in Mauricio Pochettino’s group this summer after a fantastic season-long loan at Burnley last year.
The Dutchman was brilliant last season as an attack-minded left-back for Burnley, but we’ve seen him pop up in some different roles for Chelsea during pre-season.
He was very effective in recent warm-up matches against Wrexham and Brighton as a left-winger. He seized his opportunity to impress against Newcastle as a right-winger, too.
We’re starting to feel more and more confident that the youngster will be part of Pochettino’s plans moving forward!
Maatsen started out on the right wing in midweek and did really well during just over an hour on the pitch.
The left-footer was given huge freedom within the system to drift infield to pockets of space, which resulted in space for overlapping right-back Reece James to exploit and join in with the attack.
Maatsen provided a sprinkle of magic with a superb pass that split the Newcastle defence and assisted Jackson’s goal for Chelsea.
We’re totally astounded by the way he’s quickly grasped the positional sense of new positions higher up the pitch, but Pochettino has clearly spotted something in him he likes.
He’s certainly given Pochettino more food for thought regarding his future.
A selection of Chelsea supporters on social media highlighted Maatsen’s individual contribution as a massive positive against Newcastle.
Here are some Blues fans praising their youngster on Twitter: