As the night drew to a surreal and “…unbelievable” close, every Chelsea fan went to bed with a weird feeling of overwhelming joy; yet there was also a tinge of surprise and shock added onto it.
The champions-elect had not only failed to break the deadlock until the 82nd minute, but the man who scored the decisive goal hadn’t started a single Premier League game. Thus, in an uncanny manner, emerged Michy Batshuayi, up from the dead, and into Chelsea folklore.
The last two league titles had been decided by his Belgian counterpart, Eden Hazard, who some backed to continue his unique trend this season as well. However, Batshuayi scoring does continue this fact: the last three Premier League titles have all been decided by Belgians.
Anyways, even after this magical night, rumours persisted of the £33 million man being forced to move on this summer. There’s a sense that he might very well depart, as whatever you think of Conte’s decision to play him with ten minutes left at West Brom, fact is the Italian hasn’t trusted Batshuayi to start even when Diego Costa has been suspended or embroiled in other debacles.
After getting the opportunity to watch Batshuayi on his first Premier League start this season against Watford, it’s pretty clear that the striker is rusty. His hold-up play was at times excellent, and at times both a source of annoyance and frustration. Sebastian Prödl is not Giorgio Chiellini or Thiago Silva, yet the way Batshuayi rolled about whenever the defender came from behind to win the ball or make a challenge, it seemed like that was the case. This will, undoubtedly, raise concerned eyebrows from Conte, but he’d be forgetting to take into account the fact that Batshuayi really hasn’t had the chance to properly assimilate himself in Premier League football yet. I mean, the guy has only played 207 minutes so far. (And scored 3 goals within that time).
For a prodigy dubbed to be the next Drogba, Batshuayi has a lot of improving to do. But glimpses of his ability are there, and the young man may become a shining star at Stamford Bridge. Conte should give him a chance to further prove himself next season, when Chelsea also have Champions League to deal with, not to mention the cup competitions in addition. All in all, I don’t believe we’ve seen the last from the Batman just yet.