It was a frustrating evening for Michy Batshuayi as he made his first start for Chelsea since October as Chelsea beat Peterborough United 4-1 at Stamford Bridge.
Although the Belgian striker managed to get on the score sheet, his performance will have Diego Costa sleeping easy tonight.
The £33 million pound striker has undeniable talent but hasn’t been able to showcase his potential with Antonio Conte keeping the shackles on him for most of the season, but this was an opportunity, one he had to take and do everything for the Italian boss to take notice.
Before scoring on the brink of half-time you could see he was rusty, snatching at chances and making selfish choices which left Conte seething on the touchline, however, he was trying hard but perhaps too hard.
Batshuayi found himself unlucky not to receive a penalty shortly before bagging his third goal in four starts with a tidy finish into the bottom corner. The second half was much more quiet for the Belgian after sliding Ruben Loftus-Cheek through for a one on one in the opening minutes. He found himself a couple of half chances but curled wide.
Twitter: 3 – Michy Batshuayi has scored three goals in his four starts for Chelsea. Option. (@OptaJoe)
Spanish winger Pedro stole the show as his excellence at the Bridge continued with two goals as Willian scored the other with a well-placed shot. The much rotated Chelsea side looked comfortable from the off, although a John Terry red card and Peteborough goal within three minutes of each other gave the home fans a scare.
I’m sure every Chelsea supporter is keen to see Batshuayi get more minutes under his belt due to his popularity and social media antics. They will have been heavily disappointed at Conte‘s decision not to start him vs Bournemouth last month. I am torn in what to think about his role in the squad and the lack of importance Conte has placed on him.
On the one hand, I think 17 league goals in Ligue 1 for an underachieving Marseille side last season and glowing reviews from the European Championships last summer with a £30+ million price tag surely must mean a class act.
Yes, Costa has been unplayable this season and wouldn’t be dropped by anyone, but more opportunities should have opened up.
Yet I look on the other hand and see he hardly set the world alight against a third-tier opposition. It’s hard to judge his cameos in the Premier League, but I trust the Chelsea coaching staff on judging a players ability from training with them day in day out.
Perhaps he’s just not ready for such a sizeable club and a domestic loan to a mid-table team may allow him to flourish – just look at Romelu Lukaku.
Plenty of paper talk has circulated surrounding Batshuayi‘s immediate future with suggestions he will go on loan to Swansea to pave the way for Fernando Llorente to arrive at the club.
The benefits to this move? I’m not sure. Replacing the young hungry lad with plenty of passion for a 31-year-old doesn’t make much sense.
I can’t deny I think a loan would only benefit Batshuayi, but should he leave the club temporarily, a much better replacement should be bought in. With aspirations of winning the league title, Chelsea cannot rely on Costa to get them over the line himself.