Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has given his backing to Tiemoue Bakayoko after the midfielder’s poor display against Liverpool on Saturday.
The 23-year-old moved to Stamford Bridge in the summer from Monaco and has started 10 Premier League games and three in the Champions League.
Against Liverpool, the France international struggled to provide protection for the Chelsea back line.
Had the reigning English champions not cancelled out Mohamed Salah’s opener to earn a 1-1 draw, the criticism of Bakayoko may have been even heavier.
Before Willian found the back of the net, Cesc Fabregas replaced the under-fire midfielder and the Spaniard was influential in getting Chelsea a point.
Ahead of the team’s home match against Swansea City on Wednesday, Conte spoke about Bakayoko and defended the player’s showing against the Reds.
Conte says Tiemoue Bakayoko is a young player who is working very well, and it is normal at his age that performances can fluctuate.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) November 28, 2017
Some fans agreed with the manager’s stance, while others felt that Bakayoko should not be exempt from criticism when he does not play well.
@TimoeB08 needs to prove
— Pride of London ? (@Kobby_Chelsea_) November 28, 2017
I don’t know what people want from @TimoeB08 do they remember we sign him while he was injured and he never had pre-season
Pls allow him plsssssssssssss!!!!!!!
— iam_Phemmy_Nice® ? (@phemmynice) November 28, 2017
@TimoeB08 you were bought with a whopping £40m, we can't wait a whole season for you to improve, you'd better step up your game or else RLC will replace come next season. Play with passion and determination, be focused and you can be the best
— Kolade Michael (@iam_Kolecks) November 28, 2017
Send him Direcrly KANTE School?
— Dash gadel (@dash_gadel) November 28, 2017
Well said gaffer. It's so unbelievable that sort of slagging off Bakayoko has received in the last few games. These are the same Chelsea mob who hounded Jokanovic under Ranieri. The kid is young and new to us. He's got a blinding future with Chelsea. We the fans must support him!
— Uwem Inyang (@cameoses) November 28, 2017
Bakayoko needs to step his game up.we aint got time on our side..#cfc#inna mi DNA#
— Kec Eli (@kec_eli) November 28, 2017
So we paid £40m for an unfinished product. We had cheaper unfinished products like Chalobah and Loftus-Cheek on our books and we allowed them to leave
— Kofi Baah-Nuakoh (@kbaahnuakoh) November 28, 2017
It might take until next season for Bakayoko to properly show us what he is capable of. We always have to remember that this is his first season in the Premier League and not every player becomes accustomed to it right away. We will have to be patient with him.
— Tom Andrews (@CarefreeTom_182) November 28, 2017