After a summer of being linked with West Ham, Tottenham, Crystal Palace and Juventus, Michy Batshuayi is closing in on a move to Chelsea. The transfer fee is reported to be €37.5m, a huge outlay for a player who has only had one season as Marseille’s first choice forward. However, the Belgium international is a little bit special, and has the attributes to be a great centre forward in the years to come. He is still young and has stepped up to every new challenge in his career. As he is coming to Chelsea from Marseille, there will be comparisons made to Didier Drogba. The fee for Batshuayi is a record for a player leaving Marseille, beating that of Drogba. Although there are similarities that can be drawn, Batshuayi is a different profile of forward.
The forward, along with Alexandre Lacazette, is seen as one of the brightest talents in European football, and many believe he will go on to become a Champions League calibre striker. He has an excellent temperament, and is used to playing back up at both club and international level. Batshuayi managed to secure a starting berth at Marseille this season, and he has always shown an ability to grasp his opportunities when they come. A perfect case of that was during Belgium’s round of 16 game, as he scored a goal minutes after coming on, something Romulu Lukaku couldn’t do against Hungary. It was believed that Batshuayi would have been happy to play a squad role at Tottenham, who were leading the chase for his signature for a long time. The move to Chelsea is interesting as he should have a better chance of first team football, and its a new dawn at Stamford Bridge under Antonio Conte, I’d expect Batshuayi to be central to his plans.
At the age of 22, Batshuayi has developed a lot over his two seasons with Marseille, and has already progressed to being one of the top strikers in Ligue 1. He has 23 league goals for the French club in 61 matches, 23 of which came as a substitute. That is a very good return, and suggests he could be a great goalscorer in the future. He manages to have an impact whether used as a starter or as a substitute, and that is a great quality to possess.
In terms of his style, Batshuayi would suit the Premier League well. He is physically strong and has plenty of pace. He creates a lot of chances through being able to hold off defenders and get an angle to strike on goal. The Belgian is explosive and is able of getting in behind defences, while his composure is impressive as he rarely snatches at chances in front of goal. His burst of acceleration allows him to gain an extra yard of space in the box, which gives him more time to take his chances.
His weaknesses are few, but there are some areas of his game that need to be worked on. Batshuayi is frequently caught offside and although he has a lot of pace, he needs to be more intelligent with his runs. That is something that will come with experience and the right coaching will help him to develop that side of his game. That is why a move to Chelsea will appeal to the Belgian, as he will receive world class coaching to develop those poorer areas of his game.
I feel Chelsea is a good fit for both club and player. He is still at the start of his career and will want to find the perfect environment in which to progress. Antonio Conte will be creating a new look side at Chelsea this summer, and instilling a firm tactical plan, which was perhaps lacking last season. It will be interesting to see what future Diego Costa has at the club, with Atletico interested in re-signing the striker. Conte has avoided using difficult characters Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano with the Italian national side, and he may think Costa isn’t his type of character. If he decides to keep the Spanish international, the arrival of Batshuayi will provide real competition in the striking areas, something the club has lacked for years. The last striker they signed from Marseille was a club legend, Chelsea supporters will be hoping Batshuayi can have a similar impact.