When Michy Batshuayi arrived from Marseille last summer, for a fee over £30 million, everyone expected much from him. It wasn’t just about the price tag; it was also about his history. He was a prolific scorer for his former club, and he’d put up a wonderful showing in his little stint at the Euros.
A few games into the league season, he got a few goals to his name, and was doing well. In fact, many of us had seen him as the replacement for the unpredictable Diego Costa, but somewhere along the line, the Belgian seemed to lose the plot. He was suddenly wasteful in front of goal, and his movements weren’t as sharp as before. I particularly remember the league cup tie against West Ham; Batshuayi probably cost us that game. We had countless chances to win, but all went begging. That marked the beginning of his stint on the bench. A player that had seen a good amount of substitute appearances was almost permanently relegated to being a spectator for the remainder of the campaign. But of course, nothing ever stays the same, second chances always come, it is what you do with it that matters.
On Friday night, Michy Batshuayi got another chance to change both his story and that of the club. He came on late in the game when things looked like they were going to end in a stalemate, and tilted the game in our favor. It may not have been the type of winning goal we wanted, but it won us the title and has given the scorer something of an icon status at Stamford Bridge.
Conte is a man that likes to reward hard work and excellence, and he seems to have renewed faith in Batshuayi. Yesterday, against Watford, he handed him a start, and the striker got a second goal in two consecutive games. You can argue that he played because the season is pretty much over, but whether or not that argument stands, the truth is that he has definitely earned back a bit of trust from both his coach and Chelsea faithful.
In football, goals are everything, especially crucial ones. If Batshuayi continues to provide them, he might as well be the icon everybody thought he’d be when he arrived earlier in the season. There are talks of a move away, but all that may not mean a thing if he continues to prove he is worthy of the Blue shirt.