Michy Batshuayi discusses being left on Chelsea bench v Man City by Antonio Conte

The striker has struggled for regular game time at Stamford Bridge since arriving in the summer of 2016.

Despite being a popular figure at the club on and off the pitch, Antonio Conte has shown he does not fully trust him yet.

The 24-year-old has entered the new season as Chelsea’s second-choice striker behind £70m Alvaro Morata.

And after the in-form goalscorer was withdrawn against title rivals Manchester City on Saturday with a hamstring injury, Batshuayi looked most likely to replace him during the first half.

But even after scoring the winner at Atletico Madrid just three days before, Conte opted for winger Willian instead as the Blues went on to lose 1-0.

It highlighted Batshuayi’s issues in west London, but the Belgium international claims his relationship with Conte is positive.

On Willian replacing Morata instead of him, Batshuayi said: “What disappointed me was our defeat against Manchester City, not my personal fate.

“The coach often congratulates me because he knows my daily investment.

“I have grown tactically, but I did not calculate all that.

“I have evolved, just like the rest of the team, and with motivation, I am also stronger.”

Batshuayi has maintained his place in Roberto Martinez’s Belgium side, where he should get more match action against Bosnia and Cyprus.

After the break, Chelsea travel to bottom of the Premier League table Crystal Palace.

Morata is fighting to return in time but may not make the game, although it remains to be seen if Batshuayi will start.

Barkley still on Chelsea radar

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley remains high on the wanted list of Chelsea, despite him turning them down in the summer.

Barkley appeared to be heading to Stamford Bridge on transfer deadline day after the two clubs agreed a fee, but he had a change of heart at the last minute and the deal collapsed.

At the time, the midfielder said he would wait until the window opens in January and consider his options then, and according to reports Chelsea are still in the hunt to do a deal.

Barkley is out of contract at the end of the season and with there being no sign of him penning a new one, Everton are keen to cash in and recoup as much money as possible when the window re-opens.

The figure which Chelsea were willing to pay in the summer will have dropped quite significantly and that also means Tottenham are back in the hunt and will battle Antonio Conte’s men for the player’s signature.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino was heavily linked last summer, but was unwilling to pay the kind of fee Everton were asking for. That could now change depending on Everton’s new valuation.

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