Tiemoue Bakayoko switches the southern French lifestyle for an equally luxurious west London scene.
The towering midfielder has been enticed to join the Blues of London from AS Monaco FC. The dual French and Ivory Coast national has signed a five-year deal with the club as Conte hopes to draw in a stronger defensive strategy ahead of next season’s title defence.
Having been valued at just over £13 million, Conte splashed the cash and a reported £34 million to secure this pivotal signing. Many predict that this buy was for preparation for Nemanja Matic’s departure to the Manchester Red Devils sometime this summer.
Showing signs of experience despite being 22-years-old, having played in the UCL Champions League as well as in regional leagues and cups, he is expected to rival the strengths of Matic and improve to a peak in the next 5 years. The signing of Antonio Rudiger last week also highlights Conte’s plan for a more robust defensive set up, wary that opposition are signing big-ticket strikers with notorious histories.
The true test will come to see if these players can combine in flawless chemistry given their distance from each other in their careers so far.
Bakayoko’s development has been staggered as an influential midfielder however; joining from Rennes in 2014 for £7 million, he only appeared 24 times on the starting XI in his first 2 seasons. Given Monaco’s appointment of Claude Makelele, a former Chelsea man himself, this gave Bakayoko the confidence to get involved in first team affairs more often.
Honing his skills has left him to this point, a move of his dreams. As an aerial threat with no signs of weakness except timings of tackles; Bakayoko could fit into the Chelsea mould a lot easier than other players have in the past.