Michy Batshuayi is currently with the Belgian national team, alongside club teammates Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard, but once he returns to Chelsea next week, he will most likely find himself top of the depth chart at center forward. While Chelsea have yet to confirm the extent of Álvaro Morata’s injury, there’s a good chance that Spain’s medical team were correct in their assessment that’s likely to rule out Chelsea’s leading goalscorer for a month, if not two.
Enter the Batsman, who appeared close to leaving the club this summer, but a good pre-season combined with the Llorente situation ensured his continuing presence in the squad. He’s already had several outstanding and a few not so outstanding moments this season, but should be looking at an increased workload in the near future — provided Conte trusts him of course, which isn’t necessarily guaranteed.
Speaking to journalists ahead of Belgium’s game in Bosnia on Saturday, Batshuayi expressed his determination to make the most of this potential opportunity.
"It sounds strange to say, but someone's bad luck is sometimes the happiness of the other.
"I know that I will have more playing opportunities in the coming weeks. It's up to me to show that I'm capable. I know Conte has confidence in me. Otherwise, he would have let me leave during the summer.
"It's a chance for me. If I'm called on, I want to be ready and efficient. I have to stay really focused. I've already started games at Chelsea and played well. I'm an efficient striker, but I'm not a joker."
-Michy Batshuayi; source: Sky
Some of the word choice may sound a bit harsh (or is a translation issue), but the sports world is littered with examples of players stepping up in place of injured players, sometimes well enough even to never give the job back. Tom Brady in American football (NFL) is a famous example, but Petr Čech comes to mind as well after getting the nod initially due to Carlo Cudicini’s off-season injury.
While Conte could just as well play a different tactical setup up front — we saw the Hazard-Pedro-Willian combination work well last season, too — this could be the biggest opportunity for Batshuayi yet.