What a huge disappointment Tiemoue Bakayoko turned out to be.
We admit that when Tiemoue Bakayoko joined Chelsea to replace the outbound Nemanja Matic, we all thought it a stroke of genius. A young evidently capable midfielder who had helped guide Monaco to Ligue 1 and Champions League glory the season before. What was there not to like? Alongside N’Golo Kante, the Blues should have been unstoppable.
Fortunately or unfortunately, wherever your allegiances lie, the £40million man turned out to be a catastrophic flop.
It often turns out that way, doesn’t it? A ‘big’ Premier League side makes a transfer that should, in theory, cement their success for seasons to come, but in reality, they fall well short of expectations. It has happened before to Chelsea when they signed Fernando Torres, and in a cruel twist of fate, it happened again with Tiemoue Bakayoko.
But it did not always look to be that way. There was genuine promise at the start of his Stamford Bridge. For someone who had moved from France weeks before his debut, the midfielder settled into life in the Premier League in surprisingly competent fashion. He was strong, tactically astute, kept up with the pace of English football relatively well, and was dominant in all the right areas. The very qualities Antonio Conte had wanted when he made the initial investment. The Italian even went as far to call Bakayoko’s debut performance against Spurs “amazing” (as per Metro).
The honeymoon period was soon over, however, and Chelsea fans slowly came to the realisation that their new partner was not quite the man they had initially expected. His confidence started to drop and so too did his ability to carry out simple tasks.
The words ‘liability’ and ‘Watford’ just about summarise the second half of Bakayoko’s career at Stamford Bridge. The Frenchman collected two yellow cards in the space of 30 minutes at Vicarage Road during an embarrassing 4-1 humbling, and really things never improved. His passing range was limited, his defensive play sluggish, and what was left of the player was heavily scrutinised by fans and critics alike.
He left for AC Milan on loan at the beginning of the season and is expected to make a permanent move this summer (as per The Sun).