Following a well documented and lengthy transfer pursuit, Chelsea finally confirmed the signing of Tiemoue Bakayoko on 15th July 2017.
Although he was relatively inexperienced at the time Bakayoko had shown enough promise in the Champions League and to suggest he possessed both the technical and physical attributes to blossom into a fine player at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea confirmed the deal via their official Twitter page, and naturally the supporters turned out in their numbers to welcome the Frenchman to the club and predict a bright future with him anchoring the midfield.
Champions league incoming
— CFC/AS.ROMA (@georgelamps) July 15, 2017
— Sam (@Samw100399) July 15, 2017
Welcome to Chelsea!!! Can't wait to see you play!!
— Megan (@megan_442) July 15, 2017
Treble Trophy is next
— Larry Bobby (@LarryBobby10) July 15, 2017
YESSSSS ABOUT TIME welcome bakayoko
— . (@69cent_) July 15, 2017
BOOMMM!!!!!!!! Victory at last. Welcome Baka #BakasBlue
— Blue Heaven (@psalmymcjay) July 15, 2017
Whilst the Chelsea supporters were well within their rights to express their delight at the £40 million deal, it’s fair to say Bakayoko fell well below expectation and, in hindsight, the enthusiasm which greeted his arrival was terribly misplaced.
Bakayoko struggled for form from the outset at the Blues but he was excused from a handful of poor performances on the basis that it was his first season in the Premier League.
However, his dwindling reputation culminated when he was sent off at Vicarage Road for two bookable offences in the space of 5 minutes – he never recovered from that fateful moment.
A handful of appearances towards the end of the season suggested that Bakayoko was beginning to emulate the standard of performance which he set for himself at Monaco, but he was eventually loaned out to AC Milan in the summer window with Maurizio Sarri seemingly uninterested in offering him an opportunity this season.
The manner in which Bakayoko flopped at Chelsea provided yet another reminder of how difficult it can be for players to make the transition to the Premier League, and it seems incredibly unlikely that he has a future left at Stamford Bridge – even if he manages to improve during a loan spell with AC Milan.
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