Chelsea boss Antonio Conte admits Michy Batshuayi has found it difficult to adapt to the physical nature of the Premier League.
The Belgium international was signed for £33 million from Marseille in the summer but is yet to start a game in the Premier League this season.
Diego Costa’s suspension for the clash with Bournemouth on Boxing Day means that Batshuayi could be handed his chance.
But Conte refused to confirm whether the 23-year-old is ready to deputise for the Spaniard.
‘It’s not easy to arrive and understand and adapt to his league,’ said the Chelsea manager.
‘I can see another example, [Simone] Zaza at West Ham. I know him very well, he played with me at the Euros, and he is a good player, but in England he is having a lot of difficulty.
‘This football is very tough, very physical.
‘Michy has good quality, he’s very young, and it’s important for him to continue to work and improve, and I think this season he can have a good satisfaction.’