Michy Batshuayi is on his way back to Chelsea.
After spending five months at Valencia on loan and scoring 3 goals in 23 appearances, the Spanish side have cut short the deal and are effectively returning him to parent club Chelsea.
It was the Belgian’s second loan of 2018, having been shipped out to Borussia Dortmund in the 2017/18 season. Now that his stint with Valencia is over, he is back in the hands of Chelsea. Now that he has returned, it seems fitting to ask- does Michy Batshuayi deserve a chance at Chelsea?
There are ultimately three options for Chelsea. They can keep him, sell him or loan him out. At the moment the latter seems most likely, with Monaco and Everton interested in Batshuayi. However it is hard to know where he’ll be by the end of January.
The truth is that Batshuayi has never really been in favour at Chelsea. When he was signed by then manager Antonio Conte in 2016, he served as more of a backup striker to Diego Costa, who eventually left the following year.
As Costa left, Álvaro Morata was signed as his replacement, once again condemning Batshuayi to the role of backup. The Belgian has never really got a chance at Chelsea, which led to him being shipped out to Dortmund in 2018.
Batshuayi has made 53 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 19 goals. However only 18 of those appearances were starts, meaning that he has come off the bench in 66% of his Chelsea appearances. This shows that although he has played, he has struggled to earn a solid place in the team.
Despite his recent status at the club, I believe that he deserves a chance at Chelsea, and should be kept in the squad for now. The main reason is about the limited options Maurizio Sarri has up front, which has been evident this season.
Chelsea only have two recognised strikers in their squad this season- Álvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud. Having played 24 games each this season, they have only scored 9 goals and 5 goals respectively, which frankly isn’t good enough.
In fact it’s got to the point where Sarri is regularly using Eden Hazard in a false nine and admitting that he needs new strikers, which I believe shows that he doesn’t trust nor rate the options he has at his disposal.
This is where I believe Michy Batshuayi comes in. I am in favour of having him at Chelsea, because frankly we need a third striker. Although AC Milan’s Gonzalo Higuaín is being linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, Morata may be on his way out amid a real lack of confidence.
At 25-years-old, Batshuayi still has a long career ahead of him, and as he enters the prime of his career this may be the chance he needs to flourish at Chelsea. I would happily sign Higuaín, but I am also eager for Batshuayi to return to the first team.
However, if he just spends the upcoming years being loaned out time after time then he needs to reconsider his future at Chelsea. Year after year there are dozens of players being loaned out, with the majority never getting a chance at Chelsea.
Overall though, I think Batshuayi needs the time and patience to find his feet at the club, and within a couple of years he could turn into a world class striker. As long as Sarri and the board have patience and belief in him, he could prove to be a crucial player for the Blues for years to come.