The BBC have confirmed that Michy Batshuayi has left Chelsea to join Valencia on a season-long loan deal.
With the transfer deadline having passed for English clubs, Chelsea now have no means of replacing the Belgian in their squad, beyond an internal solution.
With Chelsea having failed in their efforts to sign Gonzalo Higuain this summer, as reported by Sky Sports, Batshuayi could have remained as one of four senior strikers on the books at Stamford Bridge, alongside Olivier Giroud, Tammy Abraham and Alvaro Morata.
Batshuayi spent the second half of last season on loan with Borussia Dortmund, where he rediscovered the kind of goalscoring form that attracted the Blues to his signature in the first place. 7 strikes in 10 appearances for the Bundesliga giants ought to have been enough to earn the 24-year-old a second chance at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea could certainly do with a striker capable of replicating those numbers in the Premier League this season – now that man won’t be Batshuayi.
The role of star striker at Chelsea is currently up for grabs.
Following his big money move and bright start to life in blue, Morata struggled badly in the second half of last season. Giroud has proved himself to be a brilliant impact sub, but he lacks the mobility to lead the line week in week out. Finally, Abraham’s mixed spell with the ultimately relegated Swansea City last season won’t have convinced many that he’s ready to be the main man at the Bridge.
If he’d stayed, Batshuayi had the opportunity to force himself into starting contention. He also has the talent to be able to have a big impact in the Premier League, if he can marry that with the confidence, ruthlessness and physicality required to be dominant in the top flight.
He certainly deserved the chance to stay and fight to prove himself.