Follow It's Round and It's White on Facebook

Could Michy Batshuayi be important to Chelsea in 2017/18?

Thursday 22nd June 2017
Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi finds himself at somewhat of a crossroads this summer given the lack of playing time in his debut campaign. With manager Antonio Conte looking to build a side capable of challenging in the Champions League next season, many believe the Belgian international will be sold.

But with Chelsea placing so much faith in the centre-forward, who cost £33m in terms of a transfer fee and who signed five-year-deal - could he become important in 2017/18?

Batshuayi boasted an impressive scoring record despite a lack of minutes

The 23-year-old made just one Premier League start for Chelsea last season, having to wait until May's meeting with Watford. He spent his debut campaign at Stamford Bridge being used as an impact sub or being left on the bench at times, amassing a paltry 700 minutes of game time in all competitions.

Batshuayi made 19 substitute appearances in the Premier League with Chelsea, scoring five goals and making one assist. In the top-flight, he scored or created a goal every 40 minutes on average, and still managed to net nine times in just eight starts in the league, FA Cup and EFL Trophy.

In all three competitions, he averaged a goal – scored or created – every 58 minutes, proving that he's worth retaining, as well as bagging the goal that won Chelsea the title. The Belgian international boasts excessive pace to stretch defences and would be perfect for Chelsea's counter-attacking style under Conte.

He doesn't have an attitude problem

Despite hardly featuring for Chelsea last season, Batshuayi never publicly vented his frustration. He was always positive on social media, providing levity to the supporters asking him about his situation, and recent comments made about his hopes for next season highlight that his attitude probably isn't an issue on the training ground.

“Everyone knows that I have to play more, that I have to score goals. There's a World Cup coming up next year. I want to be ready. I'm not going to ask anything (to the club). I'm going to listen to what they are saying. They are the boss, not me. And afterwards. I'll discuss it with my agent and the club - amicably, as friends of course. Chelsea take the decisions, not me,” he said to the Telegraph earlier this month.

Costa sale boosts his chances of playing

Batshuayi spent the season playing second fiddle to Diego Costa, who scored 20 goals and made seven assists in 35 Premier League appearances. But with the Spanish international set to leave this summer after Conte told him he was surplus to requirements, Batshuayi has a good chance to get more game time.

It's unlikely the Belgian centre-forward will start next season as first-choice in attack, but he could feature a lot more if there's a new face to compete with for a starting place. After a year at Chelsea and in the Premier League, Batshuayi is more experienced and knows what to expect going into his second season.

With 65 goals scored in his last 96 starts in all competitions with Chelsea, Marseille and Standard Liege, the 23-year-old has shown he's a prolific striker when given the chances.

Could he become important to Chelsea in 2017/18?
Crippy Cooke

Crippy is a long-suffering Aston Villa supporter and weekly football accumulator enthusiast.

Stealing a living, the balding 27-year-old boasts a wealth of writing experience - Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London 24 and Bleacher Report.

Total articles: 318

Latest Opinion Articles