The Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern have been bitterly disappointed with the performances of Tiemoue Bakayoko since he joined the club from Monaco last summer, and plenty have already begun to write off the French midfielder.
Antonio Conte spent huge sums of cash to bring Bakayoko, Danny Drinkwater, Davide Zappacosta, Alvaro Morata and Antonio Rudiger to the club last summer, but none of the aforementioned players appear to have significantly improved the Chelsea squad as of yet. Bakayoko’s form has arguably been the worst of the lot, although it must be considered that he is only 23-years-old and will need plenty of time to adapt to the Premier League.
Moving from Ligue 1 to the English top-flight is never a simple process, as the transition represents a significant step up in both class and intensity. However, during Bakyoko’s short Chelsea career so far he has failed to demonstrate a level of potential which suggests he will eventually become a top quality central midfield player.
Conte should give him until the end of the season to see if anything changes during the next few months, but unless his form rapidly and significantly improves by the end of May the Chelsea should look at potential alternatives to sign this summer. Although it would undoubtedly be one of the most sensational transfers in Premier League history, Conte should consider signing Paul Pogba (valued at £81 million by Transfermarkt) from Manchester United to replace Bakayoko.
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Pogba has divided opinion since his transfer to Old Trafford from Juventus in 2016, but whatever your standpoint, it seems fair to assume that Mourinho has failed to get the best out of the French international so far. The 24-year-old still has at least an extra gear to move up, and Conte could be the man to enable him to reach his enormous potential.
The public feud that has persisted between Conte and Mourinho will undoubtedly ensure negotiations between the two clubs are far from straightforward, but if Pogba decides United is not the best environment for his development this summer then the decision to sell may go above Mourinho’s head. If that is the case then Chelsea should do everything they can to lure Pogba to Stamford Bridge and sign a brilliant replacement for the uninspiring Bakayoko.