Antonio Conte has discussed the work being done by Michy Batshuayi ahead of what could be the Belgian’s first league start in the blue of Chelsea.
Diego Costa’s suspension today means there will be a different face spearheading our attack for the visit of Bournemouth. One of the options Conte will certainly have considered to replace our top scorer up front is Batshuayi, whose 10 league appearances to date have all come off the bench. He was in the starting XI for our three EFL Cup ties earlier in the campaign.
‘For sure he [Batshuayi] wants to play, but it’s not easy when you have Costa in front of you who is playing fantastic football and scoring a lot of goal’ Conte explained.
‘Michy’s attitude and behaviour is fantastic. He wants to improve his technical quality and physical quality. We are working a lot with him on the tactical aspect. He is showing great commitment, great work-rate and great passion during the training sessions.
‘I repeat: it’s important for Michy to continue to work to improve. I am sure his moment will arrive.’
The 23-year-old joined from Marseille over the summer and his three goals to date were scored back in August. Conte thinks he will have benefitted from working alongside Diego Costa in the meantime.
‘Every single forward is different in terms of their characteristics. Michy is different compared to Diego. First of all, he is younger.
‘He can improve a lot, but you can learn a lot staying close to Diego, improving your experience and your skills. For sure having training sessions with great players will improve you.
‘In this case I prefer not to put more pressure on the player because it’s not good. If I decide to put Michy in the starting XI, he is ready to play.
‘It’s not important to talk and put more pressure on. He must do what he knows, what we are doing in the training sessions, and only this. If Michy is here it’s because he deserves to be here.’
- Antonio Conte speaking to Chelsea TV about the Boxing Day game can be viewed below with a Fan Club membership...