Can Batshuayi play a role for Chelsea this season?
Frank Lampard has confirmed that Michy Batshuayi will be staying, but how much impact can he have?
The Belgian striker spent the second half of last season out on loan at Crystal Palace, where he scored five goals in 11 games – a respectable record for someone who had not played too much football in recent memory.
The first half of last season was spent with Valencia in a spell much less successful – only one goal was scored in 15 top-flight games.
Borussia Dortmund was also a destination for the Belgian in the second half of the 2017-18 season, and before then, he spent 18 indistinct months with the Blues.
Despite not featuring at all so far this season, Frank Lampard has confirmed that Batshuayi is part of his plans due to the lack of numbers in his squad.
“We need Michy. We need the competition up front with the strikers we have,” Lampard said.
Even though Batshuayi has not played anywhere near the number of games he would have liked since making the £30million move from Marseille in the summer of 2016, he has had good moments as a Chelsea player.
He scored the winning goal against West Brom, off the bench predictably, to help seal their title win in May 2017, winning the league in Antonio Conte’s first season in charge.
At the end of that season, Batshuayi’s scoring rate was approximately one goal every 47 minutes, so the player certainly knows how to finish.
And, he could finally have an opportunity to establish himself at Stamford Bridge this season.
With Lampard clearly stating he wants to keep the 25-year-old around, opportunities could open themselves up, considering the two strikers in front of him are not established regulars either.
Olivier Giroud has always been seen as a backup striker since transferring from Arsenal in January 2018, while Tammy Abraham is still a young player who hasn’t found his feet since returning from a loan at Aston Villa.
If the pair cannot start scoring, Batshuayi will get a chance, and he could suit the way Lampard’s team plays.
They have created chances, and if they had been more clinical against Manchester United, the result could have been much different.
The likes of Mason Mount, Pedro, Willian and new signing Christian Pulisic will lay chances on a plate for Batshuayi, and while he might not be the most all-round forward, he can score goals.
In some ways, Chelsea are in a position of luxury – they can afford to experiment due to their transfer ban and Lampard is likely to be given much more leeway.
Batshuayi could prove to be the dark horse for Chelsea this term.