Premier League

The ex-Premier League stars who helped Borussia Dortmund reach Champions League final

Ian Maatsen

Few football fans would have predicted Borussia Dortmund to reach the Champions League final at the start of the season, but here we are.

BVB have largely struggled to make much of an impact in the Bundesliga, where they currently sit in fifth, and lost talismanic midfielder Jude Bellingham to Real Madrid after heartbreakingly missing out on the title on goal difference last term.

But while their league performance has been largely underwhelming, Dortmund have been strong in Europe. Edin Terzic’s side lost only group-stage game despite being paired with Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Newcastle United and, after progressing past PSV Eindhoven and Atletico Madrid in the knockout stages, were too resolute for PSG to break down in the semi-finals.

They qualified for the final at Wembley Stadium with the help of a few names known from their stints in the Premier League.

Ian Maatsen

Maatsen left Chelsea on loan / Boris Streubel/GettyImages

Since joining the club in 2019 as an exciting young prospect, Ian Maatsen hasn’t had a fair shake of it at Chelsea.

The Dutchman, who made his first-team debut for the Blues in 2019, spent time on loan with Charlton Athletic, Coventry City and Burnley during his formative years and even turned down a permanent move to the Clarets after helping them win promotion to the Premier League.

He was played out of position by current boss Mauricio Pochettino, featuring in attacking midfield and on the wing, but has made Dortmund’s left-back spot his own since signing on loan in January.

BVB officials have spoken of their optimism over a permanent deal for the 22-year-old and Chelsea may be tempted into selling him to recoup some cash after years of reckless spending.

Marcel Sabitzer

Sabitzer spent a brief time at Man Utd / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Marcel Sabitzer’s loan to Manchester United last season was as ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ as transfers get in the modern game.

The Austria international made the odd contribution here and there – including a brace in the ultimately fatal Europa League tie with Sevilla – but his campaign ended prematurely due to a meniscus injury.

He got lost among the myriad of stars at Bayern Munich but his talent out of possession was there to be seen in Dortmund’s second 1-0 win over PSG in the semi-finals.

Sabitzer will need to be at his industrious best when the Champions League final rolls around at the start of June.

Emre Can

Can played in the 2018 Champions League final / Markus Gilliar – GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

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