Michy Batshuayi and Fernando Torres - What do they have in common? Find out here.
Michy Batshuayi signed for Chelsea for £33m last summer after an impressive season with Marseille and Euro 2016 with Belgium. Eight month...
Michy Batshuayi signed for Chelsea for £33m last summer after an impressive season with Marseille and Euro 2016 with Belgium. Eight months on and it looks as though the striker is on his way out of the club having failed to impress here.
When we think of successful strikers in the Premier League we think of those who scored goals on a regular basis, those that come up with magical moments that could turn games on their head and those who took our game to new exciting levels. There is one thing in common with all the legendary Premier League strikers of yesterday and the current - they are given the chance to play on a regular and consistent basis.
It's common knowledge that players who are signed from other countries that come to England, it takes time to settle in, to get used to the pace and power of our game and to do that you need to play as many games as possible to do so. In addition, if you are a striker coming here, it’s imperative that you are given a chance to show everyone what you can do.
Just look a Radamel Falcao for example and his two disastrous seasons firstly at Manchester United followed by another at Chelsea. He was never given a run of around ten games in a row to get his confidence back after his knee injury. He was never given a chance to gain the best match fitness you can have by actually playing games week in, week out and as a result he suffered.
A little over a week ago against Manchester City in the Champions League, having returned to his parent club Monaco, Falcao was given exactly what he needed and he has proven to everyone that night that he is just a lethal has he used to be in front of goal with two excellent goals to give Monaco a chance in the return leg.
It's the same story here at Chelsea with Fernando Torres back in the day to now with Michy Batshuayi, they are not given enough of a chance because we like to put all of our eggs in one basket to focus on building a team around one main striker.
First it was Didier Drogba and now it’s Diego Costa. Don’t get me wrong here, both were/are a fantastic fit for the team and the tactical shape we are playing. However, when they are not available or selected it has/will cause us plenty of problems because the replacements are not given time to adjust to the way the team is set up.
Fernando Torres is a prime example of the point I am trying to make here. To put it simply in black and white, Torres struggled because he was not the same type of striker as Didier Drogba. The team was built for Drogba and around him. We played to his strengths whether that was to play the ball up to him and feed off of him, to play him down the channels or over the top, or to cross the ball into the box knowing that more often than not he would win the ball in the air.
Torres was a totally different player and someone who would set off on his bike as soon as Liverpool picked up the ball back in the day. Torres knew that the team he had then were focused on him and would look for his runs in behind every single time the player in possession of the ball would lift his head up. More often than not he was played in and it became part and parcel of his game when he first came here.
At Chelsea it never worked as we needed him to do everything Didier Drobga could do when he stepped into the team and it wasn’t his game. Think back to the times he would make runs off of the ball to be ignored and he would be left waving his arms about in frustration at this team mates. He was never the right fit.
In Diego Costa, Chelsea have found the perfect replacement for Drogba because Costa can offer the team almost everything that the big Ivorian striker would. He can hold the ball up and bring players into play, he can make things happen on his own, he can use his strength to dominate defenders but at the same time, is not afraid to play off of the shoulder and make a run in behind.
This is where Batshuayi has suffered this year, from what we have seen (which is limited) he cannot offer the same to the players as Costa. He looks solid and looks as though he could hold the ball up but we haven’t seen it. He doesn’t look as though he bullies defenders the way Costa does but relies on pace to get in behind instead.
We have to be honest and look at the occasions this season when Diego Costa has not played and Antonio Conte has decided to play with Eden Hazard as a false nine almost, it’s a statement from the boss giving the impression that he doesn’t fancy him to commit to the same role as Costa would so he makes a minor adjustment to our tactics rather than play the “Bat-Man”.
I have little doubt that Michy Batshuayi will be a fantastic success during the rest of his career away from Chelsea and it is a shame that things seem to have not worked out for him here. Expect a deal to be agreed this summer.
What do you think of Michy Batshuayi and of his lack of chances this season?