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For £16.18m, Chelsea offloading this unwanted 26-year-old flop star would be quite smart

Chelsea signed Bakayoko in 2017, but the Frenchman never impressed in his time at the club. (Premier League website)
Chelsea signed Bakayoko in 2017, but the Frenchman never impressed in his time at the club. (Premier League website)

Why Chelsea and Bakayoko should part ways permanently

According to Football-Italia (h/t Football.London), Chelsea are in talks to permanently sell their on-loan midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko. The Chelsea defensive-midfielder joined Napoli in the summer on loan for a £1.80million fee. Gennaro Gattuso’s side will have to pay an additional £16.18million to Chelsea. (h/t Football.London)

The French midfielder has spent the past two seasons on loan. Bakayoko spent a year at AC Milan in 2018 where Gennaro Gattuso was the manager. Last season, the French International was loaned back to AS Monaco, the club which sold him to Chelsea in the summer of 2017.

Chelsea have no need for Bakayoko

Bakayoko’s last appearance for Chelsea came in May 2018, where Chelsea won 1-0 against Manchester United in the FA Cup Final. Bakayoko has never had a chance to feature for Chelsea after Lampard became the Blues boss in July 2019. And if we are to go by his consecutive loan spells, it looks like he never will.

Tiemoue Bakayoko has previously played in the Serie A before, under Napoli's current manager Gennaro Gattuso at AC Milan. (Reuters)
Tiemoue Bakayoko has previously played in the Serie A before, under Napoli’s current manager Gennaro Gattuso at AC Milan. (Reuters)

In his first season, Lampard used N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, and Ross Barkley in midfield. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and winger Mason Mount deputized in central midfield when the need arose. There was never any opportunity or opening for Bakayoko to fit in. This season, Lampard has relied on the same names.

It is clear that Lampard has preferred Jorginho, Kante and Kovacic in the position where Bakayoko would have played. Bakayoko failed to impress in his solitary season at the club. From then on, Bakayoko failed to earn back his reputation which made Chelsea splash the cash for him three years ago.

Bakayoko needs stability

In the past four seasons, Bakayoko has played at four different clubs. Time to adjust to a team’s system and stability at a club help a player reach his true potential. This would be possible for Bakayoko only if he moves to a team permanently rather than trying out different teams every year in hopes of earning his way into the Chelsea side once again.

It is clear that the type of midfielder Lampard wants in the No.6 position differs from what Bakayoko offers. A move to Napoli would suit Bakayoko because it’s managed by the man who has loaned the Frenchman twice.

A permanent deal at Gennaro Gattuso's Napoli would suit Bakayoko. (Alessandro Sabattini/GETTY Images)
A permanent move to Gennaro Gattuso’s Napoli would suit Bakayoko. (Alessandro Sabattini/GETTY Images)

Gattuso has found a spot for Bakayoko in Napoli’s 4-2-3-1, where the Frenchman plays alongside Fabian Ruiz as a starter. After his spell with Milan, Bakayoko would also be acclimatized to the Serie A. The UEFA Euros start in the summer of 2021. A sturdy season from Bakayoko may see him in the French squad for the tournament.

Verdict

Gattuso is a manager who trusts Bakayoko in his midfield. Bakayoko needs more playing time than what he got at his parent club, and Chelsea can make money out of a player they don’t need anymore.

Napoli would get themselves a midfielder in the prime physical age of his career at 26 and Bakayoko would finally have time to settle down and grow into a team’s midfield. The move suits all parties, especially Chelsea, who can put the quoted £16million fee to use in the January window.

Written by Aniket Rai

An ordinary football fan, doing what he loves.

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