Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi was the star man in his sides comfortable 3-0 FA Cup fourth round win over Newcastle at Stamford Bridge today, and afterwards his manager Antonio Conte admitted it is up to the striker whether he leaves this month in search of first-team football or decides to stay at the club.
Speaking to the BBC the Italian coach said:
“I don’t know if we will be able to get another player, but if we do, it doesn’t mean Michy has to go on loan. We have a lot of competition,”
“If the club decides to add another player, I don’t know if Michy wants to stay or wants to go on loan. In this case it will be the player’s decision, not my decision.”
Despite starting only nine games this season Batshuayi has scored 10 goals in all competitions for the Blues. Although Conte has stated that the decision to stay to go is ultimately down to the player, it has been obvious for some time that the former Juventus coach does not have much faith in the 24-year-old’s ability.
The Belgium international has proven himself a excellent finisher in his two seasons at Stamford Bridge, however he seems to lack the ability to hold the ball up and link the play that his manager demands from his strikers.
The general feeling is that if Chelsea are able to secure the services of Edin Dzeko from Roma or another striker they may well allow Batshuayi to leave on loan for the rest of the season. A move away, and the chance at playing regularly may also suit the player, as he aims to make Belgium’s squad for the World Cup in Russia next summer.