Antonio Conte explains how Batshuayi can start every game for Chelsea: “It’s very simple”

Antonio Conte has told Michy Batshuayi to prove he’s better than Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard if he wants to play more for Chelsea.

Batshuayi is set to make just his sixth start in all competitions this season on Wednesday when Chelsea take on Bournemouth in the League Cup quarter-final at Stamford Bridge.

The striker, who arrived from Marseille for £33.1m in the summer of 2016, has just recovered from a foot injury but still didn’t play when first-choice forward Morata was injured last week – with Conte choosing to have Hazard play up front against Huddersfield and Southampton.

Yet Conte insists that Batshuayi still has every chance to break into his first-team plans but must prove in his limited appearances why he deserves to trump Morata and Hazard to a starting spot.

“Michy is coming from an injury. Don’t forget this. Michy stopped for maybe two weeks, 18 days, and then he needed to work,” Conte told reporters on Friday.

“Now I think it’s right for him to start the game against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup. But I repeat: in every game, I have to make the best decision for the team.

“Against Huddersfield we won 3-1 and I think I made the best decision to start with Hazard, Pedro and Willian. It was the same against Southampton. Every game I’ve played Hazard, Pedro and Willian together, they’ve won. Last season and this season.”

When then asked whether Batshuayi has been frustrated not to play more in what is his second season in England, Conte said: “He has to show me that he’s better than Morata, or than Hazard. It’s very simple.

“But don’t forget that Michy, this season, is playing more than last season. Last season he didn’t play. He didn’t play and I think this season, if you consider his injury for a month, he had his chance.”

“Michy is coming from an injury. Don’t forget this. Michy stopped for maybe two weeks, 18 days, and then he needed to work,” Conte told reporters on Friday.

“Now I think it’s right for him to start the game against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup. But I repeat: in every game, I have to make the best decision for the team.

“Against Huddersfield we won 3-1 and I think I made the best decision to start with Hazard, Pedro and Willian. It was the same against Southampton. Every game I’ve played Hazard, Pedro and Willian together, they’ve won. Last season and this season.”

When then asked whether Batshuayi has been frustrated not to play more in what is his second season in England, Conte said: “He has to show me that he’s better than Morata, or than Hazard. It’s very simple.

“But don’t forget that Michy, this season, is playing more than last season. Last season he didn’t play. He didn’t play and I think this season, if you consider his injury for a month, he had his chance.”

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