Tiemoue Bakayoko was signed to Chelsea from Monaco in the summer of last season. News of his arrival was greeted with lots of excitements, mostly because he was one of the few transfer targets to have actually been acquired, and his very impressive season with Monaco. The previous season, he and some other players had led French side, Monaco to the latter stages of the Champions League.
Now, months on, the excitement has turned to anger and disappointment, because he has failed to live up to expectations. And this is really puzzling seeing what a fine run he had at Monaco.
Bakayoko was brought in as replacement for Matic, who was sold off to Mourinho’s Manchester United, but in eight months, he has done nothing close to what we got from Matic on his first few games at Chelsea.
Initially, Bakayoko’s failures were overlooked as the struggles of a ‘Premier League newcomer’, but that is no longer the case; his lack of competence and depth at playing for a big side like Chelsea is even more obvious by the minute. His brief cameo on Sunday against Leicester City was as embarrassing as they come. Forty five minutes on the pitch before getting subbed at half time, and it was because he could barely get a foot right. His stamina is poor, his passing skills are on just about that level, his touch and ball control are mediocre, and he is definitely not the kind of man you expect to get you the goals.
I am not the type of fan to say ‘I told you so’ over unsuccessful transfers, but on this one player, I think we can all agree that Conte got his call wrong. Maybe we needed some fresh legs in the middle, but Bakayoko shouldn’t have been the obvious choice. If the man is good at anything, it’s not knowing how to play for Chelsea.