One thing we know about sports stars is that they don’t work in a vacuum. It’s not just that most of them play team sports. It’s that their confidence is surprisingly fragile. They have a need to feel wanted and valued. Yes, by fans and teammates. But also, by their coaches.
So if Michy Batshuayi is exploding with goals since he moved to Germany, some of it has to do with the BVB’s style and some of it has to do with the Bundesliga, but a lot of it has to do with his confidence, his emotional state.
How he feels at Dortmund, he told Belgian outlet HLN, is loved.
“I hardly played at Chelsea, so it’s nice to be important again now, you know what it is: I’ve just received a warm welcome at Dortmund. I immediately got love, and you’re automatically better.”
It’s showing on the stats sheet, there’s no denying that. He’s now up to eight goals in eleven matches. He went through a four-game scoreless stretch starting in mid-February and lost his starting job. But on March 11th he came on in the 63rd minute against Eintracht Frankfurt and promptly scored twice, giving the Black and Yellow the win. That was enough to put him back in the First XI and he rewarded that trust by scoring again two matches later.
What’s left unsaid, the elephant in the room if you will, is the flip side of that “love” comment. The implication is that he didn’t feel loved at Chelsea, at least not by Antonio Conte. He still scored, 12 in 25 appearances. But at times Conte was willing to forego a striker and put Eden Hazard upfront rather than play Batshuayi. It’s the sort of apparent rejection which hurts that oh-so fragile confidence.
So, if BVB love him and he’s not so sure that Chelsea, or at least Antonio Conte, does too, does that mean he wants to agitate for a transfer? Even though his loan agreement does not have a buy clause in it?
He ain’t saying.
“I do not want to talk about that, nor about Chelsea, maybe later.”
He’d rather focus on winning the Belgium job...
“I score, which makes me lean slightly closer to Romelu Lukaku. We can also play together, but there is a fair competition between all players, the most important being the team.”
...and enjoying his football.
Turmoil is in the air again at Stamford Bridge and nobody knows for sure how it’s all going to turn out. It seems possible that there will be a new manager on the sideline next season and maybe that manager will give Michy the love that he — and all players — need. Until then, he just wants to have fun. And revel in the Batsman hype, Bundesliga-style.
“[The social media thing] can not be explained, it started out as a joke, but has now become immensely big, thanks to social media, which is good. I like to make people laugh.”
-Michy Batshuayi; source: HLN
Bats has an infectious personality and Chelsea fans took to him right away, as did their German counterparts. Which of them will enjoy his company next season is something we’ll have to wait and see.