Chelsea came back to winning ways after their surprise loss to Tottenham Hotspur two weeks back that ended their winning streak. And although their recent run doesn’t suggest any chink in their armour, one cannot help but notice their thin depth in the midfield.
Against Leicester City, Antonio Conte had 22-year-old Nathaniel Chalobah and 20-year-old Ruben Loftus-Cheek on the bench apart from Cesc Fabregas, which is weak when compared with the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. While Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante have more than sufficiently done the job for the Blues in the middle of the park till now, the lack of quality backup in that position irks Conte.
And his recent move for AS Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko confirms that. Conte is reportedly eyeing a move for the 22-year-old French international, who has been quite impressive this season for the French side. The defensive midfielder has been a regular in Monaco’s domestic league as well as UEFA Champions League campaign.
At 184cm, Bakayoko could pretty much be domineering in the aerial threats both breaking counter attacks and creating chances from deep midfield. The French international is known for his vision from the deeper midfield which is useful for his side to start counter-attacks. He’s a very similar player to Kante with better attacking attributes and his addition will improve the depth in the Chelsea squad.
He has registered a passing accuracy of 86% on average this season so far of which 81% were completed in the attacking third. A perfect candidate for the central midfield role, Bakayoko is adept in both defence and the offence, just as Antonio Conte like his team to play.
A Rennes youth product, Bakayoko moved to AS Monaco in 2014 and has since then established himself as a first-team regular. His dribbling skills have raised many eyebrows across Europe and Manchester United are also a huge competitor for Chelsea in their pursuit of landing the talented midfielder.
However, given his young age, there is still immaturity in the player and his knack of rushing things leads to floundering passes at times. However, under the tutelage of Antonio Conte, he is bound to improve, as we have seen in the cases of Victor Moses, Azpilicueta and Cahill lately.
Chelsea lead the Premier League table currently and Conte won’t want any slip-ups now after dominating the League at the half-way stage. He knows he will have to rest Kante and Matic occasionally, even though the Blues don’t have any European campaign to worry about this season, and the boss would want a solid backup who can efficiently take the job at hand then.