‘We must have patience; he is a young player in his first season in the English league. He was in the Champions League team of the tournament last year. Didier Drogba had a poor first season with Chelsea also’.
These are all regular quotations I hear regarding midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko. While these are all very valid points, I am afraid none of these points helps a struggling Chelsea team at this very moment.
I agree that we should give young players a chance to adapt, I too have seen the quality of Bakayoko in past seasons and I that he’s talented. However, currently, he is not helping the team.
In fact, he is hindering them. The £36M midfielder – as valued by transfermarkt – has been in woeful form this campaign.
When former technical director Michael Emenalo left Chelsea, he revealed live on air via Talksport, that Chelsea’s policy is to buy players who are ‘ready made’.
That is a direct quote from Emenalo. So to me, that suggests that the player is ready to slot into that first team squad and become a real asset within his first season, that’s fair right?
Well, unfortunately for all involved, Bakayoko has been the absolute opposite of that. When he is on the pitch it is almost like we are playing with one less player, that point is illustrative of how weak he has been.
While I will never be the type to abuse or not support any player who wears that shirt, I fail to understand the thinking behind signing the former Monaco man. He is not ready made. He came from the French league, which let’s be honest is a different kettle of fish to other top European leagues.
He’s got just one senior French cap to his name, and he had far from proved himself to be a top midfielder ready to slot in as an asset to the Premier League title winners. He was signed by Chelsea as far from ready-made.
I will point out that I also refuse to write him off or be overly harsh on him because he is young and yes as many have pointed out, he will not be the first Chelsea player to have a bad first season. But so far, he has put in some awful showings. A loan move away from Chelsea, and a permanent departure looks likely over the course of forthcoming seasons.
For Chelsea to have moved forward this season and to keep themselves at the levels of competing for the Premier League once again, they needed, as Emenalo says, to sign top class ready-made players who will immediately improve the starting eleven. They did not do that.
Instead, they took risks with players like Bakayoko, and the pressure is proving too much for the 23-year old to carry on his shoulders. As a result, he is a nervous wreck on the pitch.
I’m not about to get into the blame game here but if Chelsea’s policy is to sign ready-made players, then whoever recruited Bakayoko, simply did not receive that memo.