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Chelsea To Sign Striker Michy Batshuayi

Michy-Batshuayi2Chelsea have reportedly fended off interest from Crystal Palace and West Ham to sign Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi for a reported £33m.

Relatively unknown in the UK, Batshuayi’s Belgian teammate Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois had reportedly urged Antonio Conte to sign the 22-year-old who scored 17 goals in Ligue 1 last season. Only Zlatan Ibrahimovic (81) & Andy Delort (62) had more shots on target in Ligue 1 last season than Batshuayi (58)

Style of play
Batshuayi can use both feet and his dribbling ability has left defences all over France in tatters. He may be only 5ft 11in, but he possesses the upper-body strength to win physical battles with centre-halves. His style has drawn comparisons with another Stade Velodrome and Chelsea favourite – Didier Drogba.

The Belgium international ghosts in behind unsuspecting backlines and his ability to bring others into play makes him the ideal focal point up top.

Where would he fit in?
Since Jose Mourinho’s arrival at the club in 2004, Chelsea have struggled to accommodate more than one top striker at the club at any one time.

Diego Costa is the main man at Stamford Bridge now, and has played pretty much exclusively as a lone striker since arriving in 2014. He did, however, play for several years at Atletico Madrid alongside another forward (Radamel Falcao or David Villa) and he certainly possesses the skill-set to do so again.

Chelsea are not in Europe next season, meaning they could have as few as 40 games to play, so keeping two first-choice strikers happy would not be easy. As a pairing, though, Costa and Batshuayi’s blend of power and pace could prove devastating in the Premier League.

Would Conte go two up top?
New boss Antonio Conte is also not afraid to deploy a system containing two strikers, and has done so to great effect with Italy so far at Euro 2016. He has set his team out in a 3-5-2 formation, a system he also implemented during his time at Juventus.

The problem with that formation is that it could lead to problems in defence where it may be difficult for John Terry, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic to get used to a three-man backline.

Not since the 2009/10 season have Chelsea possessed two genuinely reliable strikers to score goals – then it was Drogba and Nicolas Anelka.

Batshuayi could be both a partner to Costa and provide a genuine alternative, which would not only help keep the Spanish international on his toes but also add another string to Chelsea’s offensive bow.

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