The roller-coaster season of Michy Batshuayi

The roller-coaster season of Michy Batshuayi

The Belgian's first campaign in England has future plenty of highs and lows.

Harry Harris

Back on July 3rd, Michy Batshuayi was unveiled as Chelsea's next big signing, joining from Marseille for around £33 million. The 23-year old had impressed while playing in Ligue 1 and was expected to come in to rival Diego Costa for the main striker role under Antonio Conte.

On August 15th, the opening day of the Premier League season, Batshuayi came on for his debut against West Ham to set up Diego Costa's eventual winner in a 2-1 victory. The following week, he found himself on the scoresheet for the first time, breaking the deadlock in an eventual 2-1 win over Watford. Despite a bright start to his Chelsea career, the Belgian found himself playing second fiddle to the in-form Diego Costa and was unfortunately limited to brief substitute appearances. 

As the Christmas period approached, many expected the squad to be rotated, but still Batshuayi faced small cameos off the bench. A debut campaign in England that had started so brightly was growing more and more disappointing as the months went by.

The breakthrough

His two appearances in opening two months of 2017 came in the domestic cup competitions. Despite a lack of opportunities in the Premier League, Batshuayi successfully rewarded his manager's faith in the cup competitions, bagging a goal and assist in each of his first two FA Cup games, as well as a brace in his EFL Cup debut. 

While he was enjoying success in non-Premier League games, the 23-year old was still subject to a lack of chances in the league and only accumulated 34 minutes of action since the new year began. Even as Diego Costa's form dipped in the latter stages of Chelsea's surge towards the title, questions were asked of Batshuayi's ability to thrive in the Premier League, but no matter what happened, the Belgian always seemed to remain positive on social media and in training. 

On May 12th, Chelsea travelled to The Hawthornes to face West Brom with one thing on their mind: wrap up the Premier League title. Batshuayi's impact would be felt as he came on with 14 minutes remaining and clinched the title, stabbing home a cross with eight minutes to play. The unlikeliest of heroes, a player that struggled for opportunities proving that when given the chance, he would repay the faith.

A goal the following week against Watford and an impressive brace in the season finale against Sunderland brought his season tally to nine in all competitions, including the all important title winner.

A season full of highs and lows for Batshuayi as an individual, finished on a high with the Belgian receiving a Premier League medal and proving to Antonio Conte that he can deliver when called upon.