Eden Hazard thinks Michy Batshuayi should look for another club for first-team football
Batshuayi is yet to start a Premier League game for Chelsea under Antonio Conte
What’s the story?
Chelsea star Eden Hazard believes Michy Batshuayi should probably look for another club if he wants to get into the starting lineup and play first-team football. The 23-year-old Belgian has barely played for the Blues this season under Antonio Conte and his compatriot believes it has not been easy to see him warm the bench following an exceptional season with Ligue 1 side Marseille in the 2015/16 season.
“He must try to play more at Chelsea,” Hazard said in an interview with Belgian website DH. “Or he finds another club to bounce back.
“It is not easy, he had a good season in Marseille, a season with being able to play and score. But it will serve as an experiment.
“I get along very well with him, I wish him to rediscover the pleasure of playing, scoring goals as he has been able to do for several years, be it at Standard [Liege] or Marseille,” he concluded.
Batshuayi played for Standard Liege between 2011 and 2014 before spending two seasons with Marseille.
In case you didn’t know...
Batshuayi arrived at Chelsea with a lot of promise. The Belgian striker had signed a five-year deal last summer when he arrived at Stamford Bridge after the Blues bought him for approximately €40m (£33m). Crystal Palace had also submitted a £31.6m bid which had been accepted but Batshuayi rejected them as he looked to move to a bigger club before Chelsea signed him.
He had scored a total of 17 goals in 36 appearances in Ligue 1 and 25 goals in all competitions last season. He had made 36 appearances in the league with only four of them coming from the bench – a stark contrast to his Chelsea career so far.
The heart of the matter
At Chelsea, he has made only 17 appearances in the Premier League – all from the bench. Antonio Conte did not trust him enough and refused to start him up front even when Diego Costa was not available. As a result, he has only played 113 minutes in the league this season with a return of one goal and one assist.
Conte has started him in the League Cup and FA Cup games, though. However, those starts came against lower league opposition such as Peterborough and Brentford.
Batshuayi’s pre-season highlights for Chelsea
Batshuayi’s career looks to be heading the same way Romelu Lukaku’s Chelsea career headed at Stamford Bridge. His Belgian teammate had found minutes hard to come by and had moved to West Bromwich Albion on loan where he found instant success (17 goals and 4 assists).
Lukaku then moved to Everton (first on loan and then permanently) and he has made heads turn with his performances. Unfortunately, Chelsea is no place for a youngster to develop unless he is already in the world class category. And, sadly, Batshuayi is far from it.
Hazard is right in the sense that Batshuayi should probably look for a loan spell so he can get some minutes under his belt. Even if Diego Costa leaves this summer, Conte will surely replace him with another top signing rather than ask Batshuayi to step up.