Antonio Conte believes that Tiemoue Bakayoko still has plenty of room for improvement following his slow start to life at Chelsea.
The 23-year-old signed for Chelsea from Monaco in the summer transfer window after Conte opted to let Nemanja Matic join Manchester United, to the surprise of many.
Bakayoko has been getting plenty of chances at Chelsea this season but he has struggled to produce consistent performances for the west London side.
Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has been one of the midfielder’s critics for his below-par displays in recent weeks, and it seems that the Frenchman will take some time to adjust to the rigours of the English game.
However, Conte insists that he has been pleased by Bakayoko’s commitment and work-rate, even if he does concede that the midfielder still has quite a lot of room for improvement.
Speaking at a news conference after Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday night, Conte said: “He is a young player, only 23.
“He is working to try to improve and go into our idea of football. It’s important to have patience and understand mistakes during the game are normal, from every player.
“My task is to try to improve my player, especially if a player is 23 years old. He has a lot of space for improvement.
“At the same time, I am very happy with his commitment and work.”
Bakayoko will be hoping to feature for Chelsea when the Blues return to Premier League action on Saturday lunchtime with a crunch clash against West Ham United.
The Blues are currently third in the Premier League table as they try and catch Manchester City in the race for the title.