Tiemoue Bakayoko

Personal information

  • Name

    Tiemoue Bakayoko
  • Date of birth

    17 August 1994 (age 27)
  • Birthplace

    Paris, France
  • Height

    1.89m (6 ft 2 in)
  • Weight

    84 kg
  • Position

    Midfielder
  • Number

Biography

Tiemoue Bakayoko completed a transfer to Chelsea from Monaco on 15 July 2017, signing a five-year contract.

He is a tall, strong and quick central midfielder who was instrumental in Monaco’s Ligue 1 triumph the previous season, as well as their impressive run to the Champions League semi-finals.

In possession, Bakayoko typically plays quickly and simply but has the ability to be more expansive if required, and is strong in a one-on-one situation.

2017/18

Having completed his recovery from injury during the pre-season of 2017, Bakayoko made his Chelsea debut when he started a Wembley win over Spurs. His first goal came in a big home win over Azerbaijan side Qarabag in the Champions League and his first Premier League goal followed at Crystal Palace in October 2017, although that one in a defeat.

The Frenchman continued as a frequent part of Antonio Conte’s chosen midfield during the player’s first Chelsea season but he was sent-off for two yellow cards in the first half of a February defeat at Watford. Injury then ruled him out for five weeks but he returned as a substitute in a home win over Crystal Palace.

He produced some impressive performances towards the end of the campaign, including in a tight home win over Liverpool, and played the full 90 minutes as we beat Manchester United at Wembley to lift the FA Cup.

On loan

In August 2018, following the arrival of Jorginho at Chelsea, Bakayoko headed to Italy's Serie A to spend the 2018/19 season on loan at AC Milan. Although he lost his place in the team there early in the season, he recaptured his form as the season progressed and ended up a regular, making 42 appearances overall and scoring once. Howeverm the end of his season was blighted by racist abuse from Lazio fans suffered in the Coppa Italia semi-final, and a touchline argument with Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso, who left at the end of the campaign with Milan finishing fifth.

Having returned to Chelsea for pre-season, at the end of August 2019 it was announced Bakayoko was returning to former club Monaco, this time on loan for the 2019/20 campaign. After 20 games in Ligue 1, Bakayoko returned to Chelsea having ended the season in ninth place after the French league was abandoned early due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On transfer deadline day at the start of October 2020, it was announced Bakayoko was moving to Napoli on loan for the remainder of the campaign, linking up again with Gattuso who was now the Napoli manager. Thirty-one starts and 13 substitute appearances followed, plus two goals, as he helped Napoli qualify for European competition and reach the Coppa Italia semi-finals.

He returned to Italy and a previous loan club, AC Milan, at the end of August 2021, beginning a new two-year loan spell with the Rossoneri. 

He made his senior international debut for France against Spain in March 2017, playing alongside N'Golo Kante and with Alvaro Morata and Pedro in opposition.

photo of Milestone Milestone

Pre-Chelsea

Born in Paris, Bakayoko came through the Rennes academy in the north-west of France and made his senior debut in August 2013, a week after his 19th birthday.

He signed for Monaco the following summer and made almost 100 appearances for the principality side during his three seasons there, scoring five goals.

He made great strides after former Blue Claude Makelele joined Monaco as a technical director in January 2016, being ranked 15th in Ligue 1 for successful take-ons in 2016/17, highlighting his dribbling ability.

In a tight central midfield two at Monaco he starred as they unexpectedly beat Paris St-Germain to the 2017 title and also reached the last four of the Champions League, knocking out Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund along the way. Bakayoko scored the decisive goal in a thrilling two-legged tie against the Premier League side.

International

At international level, Bakayoko was a member of the junior France team that finished runners-up at the 2014 Toulon Tournament.

He received his first senior call-up in March 2017, replacing the injured Paul Pogba in the France squad to face Luxembourg and Spain. He made his debut as a half-time substitute in a 2-0 friendly defeat to the latter.