One of the biggest ongoing stories at Chelsea involves the loan move of Michy Batshuayi to Borussia Dortmund and how successful it has been so far. The Blues themselves haven’t had the best of luck in front of goal since his temporary departure which begs the question: why did Antonio Conte let him leave?
The loan move
At the time, Diego Costa had left for Atletico and Alvaro Morata was nursing an injury that was getting progressively worse but Conte remained stubborn, regularly opting to play Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian as a front three. Batshuayi decided to move to Germany in order to regain confidence and started with a bang: netting a brace on his debut against FC Köln.
This came just two days after the Blues failed to score in a 3-0 home loss to Bournemouth and before they lost 4-1 away at Watford – ironic, really. To make matters worse for Chelsea, their Belgian frontman scored again just over a week later, showing just how good he could be leading the line for a top European side. Batshuayi made sure to keep fans of his parent club happy by tweeting about their results, including his praise for fellow countryman, Hazard.
The former Marseille striker now has six goals in just seven matches for his loan club, a much better run than Morata, who has just one in his last seven. While the quality of defence is undoubtedly weaker in the Bundesliga than in the Premier League, a striker’s instinct is detectable anywhere in the world and it’s something Batshuayi has in abundance.
Upcoming World Cup
At just 24 years old, he has now played in three of Europe’s major five leagues, which provides ideal experience for someone looking to break into the first team at Stamford Bridge. ‘Batsman’ certainly has his best years ahead of him, which will include the World Cup in Russia in the summer, where he is expected to be selected by Belgium. Despite being second-choice behind Romelu Lukaku, Batshuayi will be chomping at the bit to get involved in the action in June.
A good tournament would increase his already-rising price tag, but that still shouldn’t persuade Chelsea to allow him to leave during the transfer window. Money isn’t something that’s a problem for Roman Abramovich and after he invested £33 million in the young striker, the Russian tycoon would need a substantial offer to even consider a sale.
However, if the former Standard Liège star begins to become unhappy in London, it might make the situation awkward for Abramovich and the man in charge, whether that’s Conte or not. Promises will have to be made during the summer months and this may come from a new boss, which is looking increasingly likely. It could be positive or negative depending on the appointment chosen by the Blues’ mega-rich owner.
There’s no doubt that Michy Batshuayi has bags of talent and potential but upon his arrival back at Chelsea, he must bring those aspects to the fore. Morata will still be preferred regardless of the new gaffer but a selection headache is never a bad thing and with the Spaniard’s tendency to pick up injuries, that could provide the perfect chance for his Belgian understudy to show what he can do.