Michy Batshuayi has made 13 appearances from Chelsea’s 20 games so far this season in all competitions, but he’s averaging barely over 20 minutes per appearance. If we take away his three starts in the League Cup, his 10 Premier League appearances, all from the substitutes bench, total to just 76 minutes.
There is however a good chance that he will at least double that minutes total next week as Chelsea take on AFC Bournemouth on Boxing Day. With Diego Costa suspended, Batshuayi will have his first opportunity to make a Premier League start. He’s got the backing of the coach and his teammates to make an impact, just like he’s done with several of his cameos early in the season.
Despite not playing much, Michy has endeared himself to fans online already, and we’re all hoping his infectiously positive attitude translates to success in a Chelsea shirt as well.
However, the lack of minutes has led to several rounds of speculation already regarding the 23-year-old’s future, including rumors of loans to the likes of West Ham United or AC Milan. But according to multiple reports in the likes of the Telegraph and the Guardian, Batshuayi will not be leaving on loan anytime soon.
The simultaneous timing and sourcing of the story suggests a club briefing, which makes sense. Chelsea spent a non-trivial amount on Michy and let other backup strikers leave on loan. We clearly value him as a backup now and perhaps something more in the future. Beyond that, he’s practically the only backup to Diego Costa, and while Diego has been in Player of the Season form and has avoided both injuries and suspensions, chances are that won’t last the whole season. Batshuayi will get his chance(s). But it’s nice to see that confirmed, sort of, in the rumor mill as well.
Time to shine, Michy!