Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has explained why Tiemoue Bakayoko is struggling at the club since his summer transfer from Monaco.
The France international shone in Ligue 1 last season, establishing himself as one of Europe’s most exciting young midfield players, but he has so far failed to live up to the hype at Stamford Bridge.
Fans are quick to turn on players in this modern age of 24/7 coverage and social media, but Conte has called for calm by explaining that Bakayoko and other summer signings just need time to settle in at the club.
‘It is normal when you are starting to change, to create a base and a fundamental for Chelsea it is normal to must be having patience and working with new players,’ Conte is quoted in the Metro.
‘They need a bit of time to adapt in our idea of football and this league, this is not simple. This season we changed.
‘For many reasons a couple of players, (Danny) Drinkwater and Bakayoko, they started to work with us very late. The most important thing is to have the will to work every day.’
This seems sensible given Bakayoko’s relative inexperience, and with this being his first season in English football – a considerable step up from the French top flight.
Still, with Bakayoko being slow to adapt, the club’s decision to bring in him in as a replacement for the more experienced Nemanja Matic – who has since shone for rivals Manchester United – seems an increasingly poorly thought-out one.