What should you expect from Alex Matos on loan at Huddersfield Town?

As of today, midfielder Alex Matos has gone out on loan to Huddersfield Town for the rest of the season. Here's a look at what his role might look like and what he brings to a club fighting relegation.
Burnley FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Burnley FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Chelsea Football Club is officially in business this January transfer window. While it's not an incoming, it is move that should excite fans looking into the future. Alex Matos, a 19-year-old midfielder who made his senior debut for the Blues back in October against Fulham heads to a Championship club with a track record of success when dealing with loanees from west London, Huddersfield Town.

Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph was the first to report the news on the second day of the new year. Both sides made the announcement earlier today. It is rumored that the side in 21st place in the Championship fought off two other outfits in the league for his services.

The versatile attacking midfielder joined the Chels over the summer from the Norwich City academy. At the academy level, Matos played a lot on the right wing, but don't be shocked if Darren Moore uses his versatility in central midfield given recent games. Not only is he someone that can attack, his defensive work rate jumps off the page. Unlike the Andrey Santos loan to Nottingham Forest, this one makes a whole lot more sense.

The Terriers and the Blues have a history when it comes to youth. A lot of the credit for Levi Colwill's development has to go to that time spent in West Yorkshire. He isn't the only ex-west Londoner that discovered success at John Smith's Stadium. Leon Knight. Trevor Chalobah. Izzy Brown. Those are just a few names that found Huddersfield to be a positive launchpad in their footballing careers.

The second tier of English football is a tough league, especially considering he is going to a side in a relegation battle. The Blues wouldn't just give a loan to the Championship to every academy player---they have to be ready. Matos seems to be. Mauricio Pochettino has been on record of giving him high praise.

"He’s really impressed me with his focus in everything. He’s so smart, watching always everything, always smiling. To compete with the first-team players is tough. But he’s really competitive, he’s really strong. He’ll kick you and smile at you."

-Β Mauricio Pochettino

Managers don't just say those things. He competes at a high-level in training, and that is a vital characteristic when minutes are not a guarantee at his new club. The performances at an academy level speak for themselves. He's not just a footballer. In American basketball terms, one would call him a "hooper." If you know, you know.

Over the course of his 60 academy outings with the Canaries, Matos amassed nine goals and nine assists per the "Transfermarkt". Seven of those goal contributions came when he was playing on the right flank.

Just over a month after competing in his first Premier League 2 match under Mark Robinson, the 19-year-old was on the bench against Bournemouth. He has been in the squad for 16 matches across all competitions within the senior team, making two appearances including one in the fourth round of the FA Cup against Blackburn Rovers.

Matos heads into a side that desperately requires a spark. The West Yorkshire outfit has lost four out of its last six in the league with a cup match away at Manchester City on tap next. Look for him to get some minutes in that contest, potentially a try-out, if you will. Due to the fact that the Terriers struggle to keep possession, it may be a little bit of an uphill climb at the start.

With Huddersfield just barely safe from relegation, Darren Moore could turn to Alex Matos for a new found energy and physicality in the midfield

His combination of work ethic and speed mean Matos could slot into that right wing back role for the Terriers. Moore, for the majority of matches has set up his side in a back-three since taking over at the end of September. What may be more likely is Moore giving him a chance on the right side in his three-man midfield. In recent games, those positions have been occupied by summer signing Ben Wiles and David Kasumu. Matos is a player-maker, and no matter where he is on the pitch, that characteristic remains consistent.

"Alex has a fantastic pedigree, exciting career to date and huge hunger and desire to succeed right at the very highest level of the game - as his Manager, it’s that mentality and application that I find most exciting about him."

-Β Darren Moore

Two CFC loanees, Cesare Casadei, and Omari Hutchinson have found success at this level in the 2023/24 campaign. There is plenty of reason to believe Matos will follow in their footsteps. Huddersfield need change, and Matos' passion to improve may be just what the club needs.

You can look at his age and think this guy isn't prepared for second tier football. In everywhere he has been in his career, the midfielder has held his own and then some. If all goes well, Matos could be looking at another loan, maybe at a higher level Championship side or somewhere in Europe next season.

Huddersfield at Manchester City is slated to kick off at 14:00 GMT on Sunday, January 7. The match will be broadcast on BBC Sport Web and BBC iPlayer in the UK and ESPN+ in the States.