Chelsea’s £40 million purchase of France international Tiemoue Bakayoko initially felt like a coup for the west London outfit.
The defensive midfielder impressed for AS Monaco in the Champions League and appeared to possess all the attributes required to flourish in the Premier League.
Antonio Conte was so convinced he had signed a first-rate midfielder that he even allowed Nemanja Matic to leave Stamford Bridge for Manchester United.
However, Bakayoko’s struggled worse than anyone could have predicted at Chelsea, whose supporters became increasingly frustrated with the summer signing as the 2017-18 campaign wore on.
Chelsea fans finally lost patience with Bakayoko after his shocking performance in a Premier League clash away at Watford back in February.
Following a string of misplaced passes and clumsy challenges, the former Ligue 1 star completed one of the worst individual performances of the season by getting himself sent off after just 30 minutes.
It came as no surprise when Conte’s successor, Maurizio Sarri, decided to send Bakayoko out on loan following his arrival at Stamford Bridge in the summer.
AC Milan agreed to take him on a season-long loan deal and the Frenchman has made six appearances so far for the Italian giants.
His latest performance, however, will do little to convince Chelsea that his long-term future is in west London.
Milan recorded a 3-1 win over Olympiakos but the Italian press have been scathing of Bakayoko’s display.
Per the Express, Corriere Dello Sport rated Bakayoko 5.5/10 – the best rating among the Italian media – and said the midfielder was “Unable to shine without a regista (deep-lying playmaker) playing close to him.
“He leaves the impression that the ball is burning when he has it.”
Ouch. However, it gets worse.
Tuttosport, who handed Bakayoko a 5/10 rating, dubbed the Chelsea loanee “confused and messy”.
Gazzetta dello Sport, meanwhile, claimed Bakayoko “is a disaster”.
“Slow and unprecise, one of his mistakes allows Olympiakos to score the opener”, the Italian paper, who handed him a 4.5/10 rating, added.
By the sounds of it, Chelsea are much better off without the big-money midfielder.
It’s quite possible that Chelsea fans will never have the pleasure of watching a Bakayoko-in-a-blue-shirt disasterclass ever again.