Paul Merson: Chelsea summer signing is struggling in Premier League

The Arsenal legend believes Chelsea summer signing Tiemoue Bakayoko is struggling to adapt to the Premier League

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
Arsenal legend Paul Merson Photo: Sky Sports

Paul Merson believes Chelsea summer signing Tiemoue Bakayoko is struggling to adapt to the Premier League.

The France international moved to the defending champions in a £40m deal from Ligue 1 champions AS Monaco in the summer transfer window.

Bakayoko’s arrival triggered Nemanja Matic’s departure to Manchester United back in August to heap pressure on the Frenchman.

The defensive midfielder started the season with an injury but Bakayoko returned for Chelsea’s 2-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.

The 23-year-old scored in Chelsea’s 2-1 loss to the Premier League’s basement club Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park last month.

Bakayoko helped the defending champions to ease to a 1-0 win against title rivals Manchester United at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

However, former Arsenal midfielder Merson admits Bakayoko is struggling to adapt to the Premier League despite his physical style of play.

“Bakayoko hasn’t hit the ground running,” Merson told Sky Sports. “This is a different league for him.”

Chelsea won the Premier League title with two games to spare last term after finishing seven points clear of their closest title challengers Tottenham Hotspur.

Conte signed Bakayoko, Antonio Rudiger, Willy Caballero, Danny Drinkwater, Alvaro Morata and Davide Zappacosta in the summer transfer window.

The Blues are nine points adrift of current Premier League leaders Manchester City.

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