Michy Batshuayi has been a peripheral figure so far this season for Chelsea and something of a ‘forgotten man’ after his £33 million arrival in the summer.
Antonio Conte is asserting a title charge at Chelsea and he has been supported largely down to the goalscoring exploits from Diego Costa. However, Batshuayi has been backed to leave his mark in the Premier League. Fans buying Chelsea tickets will be desperate to see what Batshuayi can offer and their has been no doubting his growing potential.
The Blues strengthened their squad considerably in the summer as Antonio Conte began his rebuilding process as Chelsea boss. The likes of Marcos Alonso, David Luiz and N’golo Kante were all recruited and have cemented their place in the Blues starting eleven in the Premier League. However, 23-year-old Batshuayi has struggled to live up to expectations so far in SW6.
Since swapping Marseille for West London, Batshuayi has certainly made an impact off the pitch with his social media updates on Twitter and Instagram, but is yet to set the Premier League alight on the pitch and has been resided to just 76 minutes in eight Premier League appearances so far this season.
Much was made about the Belgian’s growing reputation prior to his arrival in the capital. A prolific season in France was rewarded with a spot in the Belgium squad at Euro 2016 in the summer as clubs began to take note of the forward’s capabilities. There was plenty of potential suitors in line for his signature from clubs across the continent. However, it was Chelsea who sealed a deal to sneak in ahead of their London neighbours West Ham United and Crystal Palace, who also had fees agreed with Marseille.
Rewind to August and it appeared that the Belgian had taken to the rigors of the Premier League like a duck to water. The striker began the season in promising fashion as he came off the bench to set up a goal for Costa on his league debut against West Ham United. In the following game against Watford, he made an instant impact once more, scoring the equaliser after being introduced late on by Conte. The youngster then fired a brace three days later against bristol Rovers in the EFL Cup to go some way to justifying the £33 million price tag.
Diego Costa has been in scintillating form so far this season firing ten league goals, which has ultimately hindered Batshuayi’s impact in a blue shirt. A new-look 3-4-3 system has also worked perfectly for Conte with Costa as the central striker. The previous 4-2-4 formation which we saw at the start of the season produced mixed fortunes as Batashuayi’s impact remains desolate with only 76 minutes of action in eight Premier League appearances.
It has been a frustrating start to life in England for the Belgian and there is certainly no doubting his quality. After making a name for himself at Standard Liege, the 23-year-old sealed a move to Marseille which began to draw comparisons to former Marseille and Chelsea favourite, Didier Drogba. Batshuayi netted twenty three goals and notched up ten assists, not a bad return for a side that finished 13th in Ligue 1.
Chelsea were alerted to his rise and the forward became the third Belgian to join the Blues as he followed in the footsteps of Didier Drogba in swapping the south of France for west London. Chelsea fans will be hoping Batshuayi can live up to the expectations placed on him and be as a successful as Didier Drogba in the blue of Chelsea.
The forward has all the attributes to be a top footballer, he just needs the platform to deliver. He ticks all the boxes to be a Premier League success with impressive strength, lightening pace, aerial ability and an eye for goal. The form of his Chelsea team-mates mean there has never been a better time for the striker to leave his mark. The resurgence of Pedro and Eden Hazard will provide him with pinpoint service in attack with natural width from Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses to deliver balls into the box.
Given Diego Costa’s recent injury history, Chelsea needs to tread carefully. The Blues cannot afford to lose the Premier League’s leading scorer for an extended period and with eight games in the six weeks there has never been a better opportunity for Michy Batshuayi to step forward. Hopefully a glance at Chelsea’s upcoming schedule will convince them to let Costa rest and give Batshuayi his long-awaited bow before testing fixtures against Tottenham and Manchester City to follow.
If Chelsea are to be a force this season they need to have the assurance of a capable backup option to provide the desired strength in depth which the modern era of Premier League managers crave. Football can be a fickle game and it only takes a moment for fortunes to change. Currently, Batshuayi has had to settle for a bit-part role for Chelsea. He has proved to be an impact from the substitutes bench, but we are yet to see him value as a Premier League starter as we approach the new year.
This is a striker desperate to play football and prove himself in the top flight of English football, however, it still remains to be seen if Batshuayi will finally get his chance.
It is not too late to be part of the action for yourself. At Football Ticket Pad you can purchase your very own Chelsea tickets for the biggest games in the Premier League this season. The Blues are flying under Conte and the next few weeks will be a massive test to measure how far Chelsea have progressed under the Italian boss.