A West Ham deadline day decision on a move for Chelsea star Ian Maatsen has been explained by a board confidant.

The fact Chelsea are so spoilt for choice when it comes to left-backs did not go unnoticed by West Ham boss David Moyes and technical director Tim Steidten during the summer transfer window.

While spending and arrivals were not on the same level as Chelsea – who was?West Ham fans were very pleased with the club’s four signings in the window.

But If you asked Hammers supporters one area they feel should have been strengthened then full-backs would have been near the top of the list.

West Ham have needed young, pacy, modern full-back upgrades for several years now. Beyond Emerson and Vladimir Coufal, West Ham have very few bona fide full-back options and ageing Aaron Cresswell was expected – and wanted – to leave.

West Ham United Training Session
Photo by West Ham United FC/Getty Images

It was widely reported over the summer that West Ham were planning a raid on Chelsea to remedy the left-back situation.

Even after letting Lewis Hall join Newcastle, Chelsea have £140m worth of left-backs in a squad which does not have European football this season.

West Ham do of course and were heavily linked with young Dutch star Ian Maatsen.

Journalist Jacob Steinberg had claimed West Ham were confident of getting a deal done with Chelsea for Maatsen before the end of the window.

The Hammers appeared to be handed a major boost when Marc Cucurella’s move to to Man United collapsed.

Chelsea FC v Wrexham - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

And a Chelsea reporter confirmed on deadline day that the club were open to letting Maatsen leave and were “braced” for offers.

One came from a club in claret and blue. But it was not West Ham, as Burnley made a loan with £31.5m obligation to buy Maatsen from the Blues, which was accepted by the club.

But the player turned down a return to Turf Moor, where he shone on loan in the Championship last season.

That made it clear Maatsen was there for the taking and available.

So why didn’t the Hammers make their move given the claims they had been tracking the 21-year-old all summer?

West Ham’s deadline day decision on a move for Chelsea star Maatsen has been explained by a board confidant.

Chelsea Pre-Season Training Session
Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Sean Whetstone says the Hammers did not approach Chelsea for Maatsen on deadline day because Cresswell, who turns 34 in December – remained at West Ham.

“Chelsea accept Burnley’s £31.5m loan-to-buy offer for West Ham transfer target Ian Maatsen,” Whetstone said.

“Aaron Cresswell is set to stay at West Ham which meant the Hammers didn’t make a formal move for Maatsen.”

That will be hugely frustrating for West Ham fans to hear.

He would have been ideal to share the left-back slot with Emerson with a view to eventually being West Ham’s long-term number one in that position.

But perhaps we haven’t heard the last of West Ham’s interest in this player, depending how his season pans out at Stamford Bridge.


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