Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand laid into Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko after his poor performance during his sides 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield yesterday.
‘If I was Gary Cahill out there, I’d be screaming at Bakayoko. Defensively he’s been an absolute disgrace today. He’s doing nothing. He’s letting people run off him and he’s leaving Gary Cahill isolated. They’re letting the ball be rolled into Salah every time the ball comes in from the right-hand side.’
At full-time Ferdinand slammed the midfielder again :
‘Lacklustre, especially when they didn’t have the ball. I don’t know what he is at the moment. ‘He’s very athletic in terms of his build but I don’t see him upping his game pace wise at any point in the game. I’m not sure what kind of midfielder he is.’
It was then Chelsea Legend Frank Lampard’s turn to have a go :
‘He’s not affecting anybody going forward, he’s not getting tight and he’s not protecting Cahill or Alonso. ‘At the minute he’s playing at 50-60 per cent. Sometimes he needs to sprint and put people under pressure.’
Bakayoko joined Chelsea from Monaco as a replacement for Manchester United bound Nemanja Matic and has struggled to make a major impact in his 10 Premier League appearances so far this season.
Although he has had far from an ideal start to his Stamford Bridge career the France international is still only 23, and may just need more time to adapt the increased speed and physicality of English football.
Bakayoko was badly at fault for Liverpool’s goal, so whether Blues boss Antonio Conte can afford to give the player the time needed to get up to speed – due to the form of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League – if he is costing his team points like he did yesterday however, is very much up for debate.