“We thought he was slower” – Manager already impressed by Chelsea loanee

Allowed to leave Chelsea on loan just a year after arriving for £40m or so from AS Monaco, Tiémoué Bakayoko is set to make his debut with Milan this weekend.

The Serie A side paid €5m up front to get the France international for the season, and have the option to sign him permanently at any point during the upcoming campaign for €35m.

Explaining to the media soon after his arrival that his new manager, Gennaro Gattuso, was a lot like the man who brought him to Stamford Bridge in the first place (Antonio Conte), it’s now the Italian coach’s turn to dish out the praise.

Speaking in a press conference prior to this weekend’s game against Napoli, the Milan manager said: “Bakayoko likes to play in a two-man midfield. I was surprised because we thought he was slower. I have to say that I was also impressed by his dynamism. He is technically gifted so he won’t just improve our physical game”.

Despite never performing at the same level as his Monaco days, the 24-year-old was heavily used by the now former Chelsea manager, playing 29 times in the league, of which he started 24, scored two goals and picked up two assists.

However, Conte’s replacement, Maurizio Sarri, swiftly brought in Jorginho as his first recruit, which was a sign to come for Bakayoko.

Now, it’s up to him to impress Milan enough this season to make the move permanent and avoid a similar situation next summer.

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