Ivory Coast manager Marc Wilmots has revealed that he was hoping to have Tiemoue Bakayoko starting in his midfield, but the Chelsea midfielder opted for France.
In a recent interview with DH, Wilmots has lambasted the lack of players he has had to choose from for their World Cup qualifiers.
Ahead of a crucial game against Morocco on Saturday, Wilmots revealed he was hoping to have Chelsea’s summer signing involved.
“I managed to convince some Franco-Ivorians to come help the country because there just isn’t enough in the local leagues. Tiémoué Bakayoko said yes before changing his mind, when he was meant to be my starting number six.”
Ivory Coast had been interested in the services of the former Monaco midfielder for some time, but he made his senior debut for France against Spain back in March.
The midfielder was eligible to play for Wilmots’ side because of his parents.
He is yet to play in a competitive fixture for France, meaning he could still play for Ivory Coast in the future, but it appears he has set his sights on a place in Didier Deschamps’ squad for the 2018 World Cup.
Frank Lampard makes prediction about Chelsea, Man United this season
Frank Lampard is tipping both Chelsea and Manchester United to challenge for the Premier League title this season.
Both clubs have made somewhat slow starts to the new campaign to allow Manchester City to build an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.
Chelsea were 1-0 winners over Manchester United in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge last weekend as Antonio Conte’s side claimed victory thanks to Alvaro Morata’s second-half header in west London.
Manchester United will now look to get back to winning ways in the top flight next weekend when they host Newcastle United at Old Trafford.
Lampard is quoted as saying by the Daily Express: “Mourinho is a manager that likes to win and he has a way of winning. It’s different to Pep Guardiola, different to Antonio Conte and that’s his way.
“If Manchester United don’t win the Premier League, for me it’s the quality of the players.
“Manchester City have a very strong squad this year, Chelsea still have a very strong squad and I think particularly the first XI, if everybody’s fit, is very strong.
“When I look at Manchester United, they’re around that area, but maybe the other teams can be stronger. I certainly don’t think it’ll be the manager.”
Chelsea return to Premier League action this weekend with a trip to the Hawthorns to take on West Bromwich Albion.
The Blues are currently fourth in the table and nine points behind leaders Manchester City after 11 games of the new season, as they bid to try and defend their title.