It’s easy to look at Michy Batshuayi’s lack of minutes but no lack of social media content and dismiss him as a failed experiment, a waste of money, or the “Belgian Balotelli” — a moniker from earlier in his career, which he successfully shed as he matured — but events of the long weekend past do give rise to new hope that perhaps not all is lost for Michy and his Chelsea career despite the frustrations of this first season.
“There were a lot of frustrations, but this is a big club, with a lot of good players. I need to understand it a bit too. I’m a bit younger than some of the other guys. I can only keep on working hard. We have a very good squad, with lots of good players. Lovely and humble lads too. Chelsea feels like a big family. When you can work in those conditions, day in, day out. That’s magnificent. Of course there were frustrations because I didn’t play a lot.”
“So enjoying myself with the teammates wasn’t always that simple. But I also understood that I had some to work to do. But I’m happy. My team-mates have always been supporting me. They encouraged my (sic) to grab my chance and advised me not to let my head down. They are happy for me now. That’s very positive.”
From scoring the title-winning goal on Friday to getting on the scoresheet again on Monday, Batshuayi’s getting the rewards his hard work behind the scenes has deserved. He certainly hasn’t built himself up from a Chalobah-esque frame to a wide-shouldered battering ram able to go toe-to-toe with Game of Thrones background extra Sebastian Prödl just by tapping his thumbs on his phone.
“Of course this is a lesson for me. A period that’s been very hard for me, but I’ve also learned a lot. I’ve made a lot of progress. As a man, mentally, but also physically. And tactically too. That’s a given with a manager like Antonio Conte. He likes you to work, work, work. Every day.”
Proof of his commitment to the work doesn’t get much better than coming in on the team’s day off, barely 12 hours after scoring his first Premier League goal since August, and putting in the extra reps with an “unscheduled gym session” at the training ground.
“Friday was a magical moment. Like in a dream. But I didn’t lose my head either. I kept on working. Because I knew there were some important games to come.”
“I knew I could get my chance against Watford, so from Saturday morning I started focusing on this game. I wanted to perform well. I wanted to make the fans and the manager proud of me. I didn’t give up and today the team and I have been rewarded. That’s good for everybody.”
-Michy Batshuayi; source: Guardian
Whatever the future may hold, we’re certainly proud of Michy.