Antonio Conte sends message to Chelsea supporters about Michy Batshuayi
Antonio Conte lifts the lid on what he is expecting from Michy Batshuayi at Chelsea next season
Antonio Conte has hinted that he is planning to give Michy Batshuayi more playing time at Chelsea next season.
The Belgian striker scored two goals in Chelsea’s 3-0 pre-season win over Arsenal on Saturday as the Blues continued their preparations for the new campaign.
Batshuayi struggled to hold down a regular spot in the first team at Chelsea last season following his arrival at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2016 from Marseille.
Indeed, the striker only started one Premier League game for Conte’s men, but he did score the crucial goal to hand Chelsea the title in their 1-0 win at West Brom back in May.
There had been suggestions that the 23-year-old could be shipped out on loan to get some more regular first-team football next season.
However, Conte’s comments after Saturday’s game appeared to suggest that the Belgian is indeed part of his plans for the 2017-18 campaign.
Speaking at his post-match news conference, Conte said: “Last season it was a difficult season for Michy but don’t forget he scored a very important goal to give us the title.
“I think last season he had a bit of difficulty because it is not easy to play in the Premier League. It is a physical league and a very strong league.
“After one year he is working very well and he is improving. Me and my staff want to improve every player and Batshuayi is a young player with great potential and it is important for him and for us to work in this way, and for him to understand what I want.
“For me the striker is very important, he is a point of reference. If he stays in the right position, it is easier for us, for the team and to play good football.”
Chelsea are preparing for a return to the Champions League next season after the Blues missed out on a place in Europe’s elite club competition last term.