Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has admitted that he is unsure of what lies ahead for striker Michy Batshuayi, despite the fact that the Belgian was pivotal in the Blues’ FA Cup victory against Newcastle United on Sunday.
Batshuayi scored a first-half brace to put the Blues in the driving seat during their fourth-round clash against the Magpies, a game which they went on to win 3-0. Had it not been for a fine save from Karl Darlow after the break, Batshuayi would have scored a hattrick.
Batshuayi arrived at Stamford Bridge during the summer of 2016 from Marseille and has yet to establish himself as a first-team regular within the Blues first team.
His goals on Sunday took his tally for the season to 10 from 25 games and at the age of 24, he will surely be feeling that the time is right for him to now be playing regular first-team football as he approaches the peak of his career.
Dzeko arrival would restrict Batshuayi game time further
With Edin Dzeko on Chelsea’s radar, Bathuayi’s first team opportunities could be further limited. In an interview with Sky Sports, Conte has said that he wants Batshuayi to remain at the club but did ultimately concede that the final decision will depend on the striker.
“There is a World Cup this summer and every player wants to play to try to push for the competition. This is another situation,” the Italian said after the match. “If the club decides to add another player, I don’t know if Michy wants to stay or go on loan. This is a player decision, not mine. I want to continue to work with my players.
“I don’t know what will happen but when you have to play in the Champions League and FA Cup, three strikers is the minimum. Then we have to see what will happen in the transfer market.
“If you see our squad, we don’t have three, four, five strikers. We have two, Morata and Batshuayi. There is also [Eden] Hazard if I decide to play with [Ross] Barkley, Willian and Pedro.
“My task is to try to exploit every player in the best way. For sure, it’s important that he’s scored, but he also has to work hard to help the team. He improved a lot his energy and then the club will make the best decision
“If the club wants to add players to this squad or if we continue with just two strikers, I’d be happy in both cases.”