In Focus: Batshuayi unlikely to salvage Chelsea career if he leaves in January

According to reports in The Sun, Chelsea are ready to axe Michy Batshuayi in the January transfer window with the £33m striker likely to be loaned out for the rest of the season.

What’s the word, then?

Well, The Sun says that Blues boss Antonio Conte is looking for a new strike partner for Alvaro Morata in the New Year, and he is ready to loan the out of favour Belgian out to allow him to bring in a replacement.

Batshuayi has found first-team starts hard to come by ever since he made the move to Stamford Bridge from Marseille in the summer of 2016, finding himself behind Diego Costa and now Morata in the pecking order.

How has Batshuayi done this season?

Even though he has mainly been restricted to appearances from the substitutes’ bench, the Belgium international has still scored nine goals in 15 outings this term, although only two of those have come in the Premier League.

Having featured as a substitute against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday before netting twice against MK Dons in the Checkatrade Trophy on Wednesday, the 24-year-old may have been hopeful of a start against West Ham on Saturday, but he was an unused substitute even though his team was searching for an equaliser in the second half.

Is he likely to go in January?

You would think so, yes.

The fact that the striker played in the Checkatrade Trophy and then wasn’t brought on in the defeat against the Irons when Chelsea needed a goal shows how Conte feels about him, and he also failed to take his opportunity earlier in the campaign when he started in the Premier League against Crystal Palace.

While he has shown he can finish well at times, his movement and positioning shows he still has plenty to do if he wants to become a top-class centre-forward, and it doesn’t seem as though that will happen at Stamford Bridge.

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