Thibaut Courtois backs Chelsea FC flop to fire Blues to silverware
The Chelsea FC goalkeeper opens up about Tiemoue Bakayoko's first season at Stamford Bridge
Thibaut Courtois has leaped to the defence of Tiemoue Bakayoko after the summer signing’s difficult first season at Chelsea FC.
The Blues signed Bakayoko in a £40m deal from Ligue 1 side AS Monaco in the 2017 summer transfer window following his impressive performances for the French club.
However, Bakayoko’s arrival prompted the departure of Serbia international Nemanja Matic in a £40m deal to their title rivals Manchester United.
The French star has struggled to fill Matic’s void in his first season in English football, which is hardly surprising given the Serbian’s role in their title successes in 2015 and 2017.
Bakayoko produced a disastrous performance in Chelsea FC’s 4-1 loss to Watford after he was sent off inside 30 minutes after a number of wayward passes.
However, Chelsea FC goalkeeper Courtois is confident that Bakayoko will ultimately prove a big hit at Stamford Bridge despite his worrying start.
“It is not easy to settle into a new club, especially one like Chelsea,” Courtois told the Evening Standard.
“If results go your way it’s fantastic, everybody will say it’s a great signing. Yet when things go wrong and you’re a big signing, you will get criticism.
“People forget that he is still a young guy. Maybe his form dropped a bit, but you can see in the last few games he’s been very good again.
“He was very strong against Liverpool in midfield and we can be happy about that. His partnership with N’Golo Kante can be a formidable one in midfield next season.
“Physically they are very strong. It will be really hard for teams to win that midfield battle against us.”
Bakayoko has scored two goals and has made two assists in 28 games in the Premier League in the 2017-18 season.
The French defensive midfielder found the net once and created one goal in five appearances in the Champions League.
Chelsea FC can still finish the season with some silverware if the Blues beat Manchester United in the FA Cup final at Wembley later this month.