Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko has come in for criticism this season after struggling to adapt to Chelsea after his £40 million move from Monaco but former Chelsea defender William Gallas has urged the 23-year-old midfielder to ignore the haters and take the criticism in a positive way.
“I would tell him to just ignore what people have said,” Gallas told Goal. “Maybe they are right so maybe you have to work more, but don’t let people put you down because you play football.
“That was your dream to play football and you made a lot of sacrifices to be where you are. Don’t let people put you down and take the criticism in a positive way. Try to finish the season well and be ready for next year.
“You can prove people wrong because if you start to play well next season everyone will say: ‘Oh yeah, Bakayoko is the best midfielder we have.’ Everyone knows how it works so just ignore what people say to you.
“I was in the same situation, I will give you my best example. When I moved from Arsenal to Tottenham in my first game, my fans were booing me. I said ‘Oh my God!’ First game boos, second game boos.
“I said: ‘Okay, I decided to play for Spurs for many reasons and no one knows exactly why you went to Tottenham, so you have to show you are working hard and prove them wrong.’ Slowly, slowly, they started to clap me. That’s football. That’s why we love football.
“I know now football is really, really impatient. People want results straight away, but what we have to understand is that he arrived from Monaco. The English language is not his first language so you have to adapt.
“He has to adapt as well to Premier League football, you have to give him time. That’s why it is really difficult to speak before, I like to give time to the players and the manager. For me, if I have to judge him, I will do it next season. For me, this season is about adaptation.
“Everything changed for him. Football, language, maybe the family, maybe it is difficult for him to find an apartment or a house and to feel good. I will judge him next season.”