Chelsea have completed the signing of AS Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, the club announced Saturday. The French midfielder has signed a five-year deal with the Premier League champions and will wear the number 14 shirt.
The 22-year-old played a major role in Monaco’s Ligue 1 title win last season, as well as their run to the Champions League Semi Final, but has now moved onto the Premier League. The central midfielder has been linked to the Blues all summer and the deal was finally made official on Friday with Antonio Conte looking to strengthen his side of champions.
A familiar face for Kante
Despite Chelsea storming to last season’s title, the Blues struggled to find a consistent midfield partner for N’Golo Kante, the reigning Player of the Year. While Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic had their fair share of chances, neither managed to convince Conte enough and the signing of Bakayoko seems to make that quite clear.
At 6’1, the midfielder adds height to Chelsea’s midfield as well as much needed physicality, which they lacked at times last season. His ability to win the ball back and initiate attacks, in addition to his eye for a pass, turned heads while at Monaco and the 22-year old will be hoping to take his talents to new heights in London. He's expected to partner his French teammate Kante in midfield and develop one of the Premier League's most formiddable midfield.
The Frenchman is likely to miss pre-season with his new club, as well as potentially the start of the Premier League campaign due to injury. While it may be a while before Chelsea see their newest signing in action, he has experience playing against English teams before, even scoring against Manchester City in the Champions League last season.
After a long summer of rumours and potential mishaps, Antonio Conte has wrapped up his main midfield target and Bakayoko may not be the last arrival for the London club this summer.