Danny Murphy: How Diego Costa has surprised Chelsea signing

The former Spurs midfielder believes Michy Batshuayi's biggest problem at Chelsea is a lack of first-team football

Danny Murphy has claimed that Michy Batshuayi was signed with a view to becoming Chelsea’s main striker before Diego Costa’s stunning resurgence at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea appointed Antonio Conte as their new manager earlier this year and the Italian coach took over the reins of the west London club following a tenth-place finish last term.

Spain international Costa was heavily criticised for his disappointing performances throughout the 2016-17 season after the 28-year-old managed to score just 12 times in the Premier League.

Conte signed Belgium striker Batshuayi in a £33m deal from Ligue 1 side Marseille in the summer transfer window to bolster his attacking options at the west London club.

However, the 23-year-old hasn’t started a Premier League game in the 2016-17 season so far despite making 10 substitute appearances ahead of the visit of Bournemouth on Boxing Day.

Costa, on the other hand, has scored an incredible 13 times in 17 Premier League games to hand Chelsea a commanding six-point lead in the title race. The Spanish striker is suspended for their home clash against Bournemouth on Boxing Day – though.

Writing in his London Evening Standard column, former Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder Murphy explained the problem that Batshuayi is facing at Chelsea.

“Michy Batshuayi is a powerful player and a talented goalscorer who moved to the Premier League at a good moment in his career. There is just one problem: he is not playing any football,” Murphy said.

“When Batshuayi joined Chelsea, he probably thought he would be the main striker. Diego Costa had just finished a poor season and many expected him to return to Atletico Madrid.

“But Costa has surprised everyone with his form, meaning Batshuayi has played for just 78 minutes in the Premier League. Against Bournemouth on Boxing Day, though, his chance may come as Costa is suspended.”

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