When Chelsea signed Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi from Marseille in the summer of 2016, I thought it was a strange move by the Blues and for the player. Not because I did not rate the striker, but because I knew he would struggle for first-team football at Stamford Bridge.
Spanish international striker Diego Costa was undisputed first-choice striker and helped the Blues to the Premier League title last season. Meanwhile, Batshuayi sat on the bench for much of the campaign.
In fact, he started just one Premier League game last season, although he did score five top-flight goals off the bench, including a vital strike at West Brom.
This season the striker was once again second choice, this time behind former Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata. Having started just one league game this season, he joined Dortmund on loan until the end of the season in the January transfer window.
Did he get a real chance at Chelsea?
Batshuayi enjoyed a very bright pre-season and some were talking about the striker competing with Morata for the central striker role for this season. However, it just did not work out for the Belgian star.
Some players need a regular run of games to get up to speed and I believe Batshuayi could be one of those players. The 24-year-old is capable of scoring goals in the Premier League. He has shown that in his substitute appearances.
The fact that he has started just two Premier League games in a season and a half suggests that the Blues have not given Batshuayi fair crack of the whip at Stamford Bridge.
May still have a future at Chelsea
Considering that Chelsea were looking for a Plan B to Morata in January and failed to give Batshuayi a chance to shine illustrated that the striker had no future at the south west London club.
Even when Morata was injured, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte preferred to play Eden Hazard as a false number nine than give Batshuayi a start up front, which added further doubts to Batshuayi’s future at the club from the capital.
However, Dortmund do not have an option to make the strikers deal a permanent one in the summer, according to BVB CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke, who is quoted as saying: “We tried our best to get a permanent option for Michy Batshuayi, but it was a no-go for Chelsea. When Roman Abramovich says ‘no’, it is a ‘no’.”
It seems that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich still believes the striker has a future at the club. Maybe it is for financial reasons or maybe the Russian Oligarch still believes Batshuayi has something to offer the club.
Made a bright start at Dortmund
The Belgian striker has made a bright start to life in Germany, scoring three goals and picking up an assist in just two games for Dortmund. He was brought in as a replacement for Arsenal-bound Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The striker has already made his mark at the German club.
Dortmund looks unlikely to challenge for the Bundesliga title once again this season, as Bayern Munich look to be running away with it once more this season. However, the German side has dropped into the Europa League from the Champions League.
Dortmund are currently odds of 10/1 to win the competition. If Batshuayi can continue in his current vein then it can only help BVB in their quest to win Europe secondary competition this season.
Batshuayi looks to have many of the attributes need to become a top striker in the future. Good performances in Germany will only increase the chances of Belgian international returning to Stamford Bridge and actually playing on a regular basis.
For now, Batshuayi will be concentrating on playing regularly and scoring goals for Dortmund for the rest of the season. With a World Cup less than six months away, I am sure he has an eye on that too.
I doubt many Chelsea fans shed a tear when the striker left for Dortmund in January. However, Batshuayi may just come back to Chelsea a much-improved player. He could actually become the striker he has promised to in the flashes over the last few seasons.
Will Michy Batshuayi start to fulfil his potential at Dortmund?
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