Batshuayi Returns: Former Palace Man Has A Big Part To Play For Lampard's Men

The Belgian striker could prove important to Chelsea and Frank Lampard's plans.
09:00, 09 Nov 2019

Frank Lampard will christen his first ever Premier League Manager of the Month award - and a first for Chelsea since December 2016 - by welcoming London rivals Crystal Palace to Stamford Bridge.

He could become just the seventh English manager to win six consecutive EPL matches by taking all three points from the Eagles.

Chelsea find themselves in a Champions League qualification Lampard has orchestrated with the effectiveness of an enforced young side. 

22-year-old striker Tammy Abraham has now scored nine goals in 13 Premier League games for Chelsea (all strikes coming this season) and this weekend can become the second youngest player to reach double figures in the competition for the Blues (Arjen Robben remains in top spot). 

£58million summer signing Christian Pulisic is now starting to show signs of his profligacy in front of goal, having scored in each of his last two league appearances, after a tepid start to his Chelsea career.

The 26-year-old Michy Batshuayi has been relegated to fleeting appearances in the league so far this season. Last month however he produced a majestic reminder of his ability in a recent high-profile Carabao Cup occasion with Manchester United. 

On the hour mark collecting the ball off a long pass from keeper Kepa on the half-way line, the Belgian brushed off three United defenders - including world-record signing Harry Maguire to gallop towards goal, striking with precision a good distance away from the United net and provide Chelsea with an equaliser. 


The ultimate result may not have been in Chelsea’s favour, but the moment helped reenforce the strength of squad Lampard has at his disposal. The previous week Batshuayi had provided the winner on a European away trip to Ajax, coming off the bench with the score in deadlock. 

Lampard has indeed expressed his delight with Batshuayi's ability to have an impact. ‘As I’ve said before here and as I’ve said on the training pitch, we need Michy, we need the competition up front with the three strikers we have."

After joining the west London club in 2016 in the midst of the UEFA Euro tournament, Batshuayi went on to scored 19 goals for Chelsea. Batshuayi started to prove he’s a fox in the box with his very first goal for the Blues, against Watford, poaching off Eden Hazard’s rebounded drive. 

A subsequent brace in the League Cup against Bristol Rovers helped sow seeds of faith in his talent, and gave reason for Chelsea’s parting with €40million to bring him to England from Olympique de Marseille.

At Chelsea however, now across three different managers, appearance consistency has been hard to find. 

A loan move to Borussia Dortmund at the very start of 2016 saw Batshuyai’s stock rise exponentially and was unfortunate to miss out on a hattrick in his debut, he scored again in his second game. 

He finished his spell with nine goals in 14 appearance. His new teammate Pulisic provided assists for three of them. Reunited at Chelsea, the American has now provided 75% of assists for Batshuayi’s tally in all competitions. This partnership has proven to bear fruit.

There was speculation on Batshuayi’s future as recent as this summer, with a £22million to another previous loan club - and this weekend’s opponents - Crystal Palace heavily mooted. 

There were certainly question marks regarding Chelsea loaning the player out to both at a crucial point of respective campaigns, and a future departure should also get those eyebrows raised again. Second-string striker Olivier Giroud, now 33 years old, has been limited to just 20 minutes since August.

This Chelsea team has clearly demonstrated that it is in working order, yet Lampard hasn’t yet endured the challenge of a detrimental injury affecting his team. 

Should Abraham at any point have to sit out, Lampard clearly has the ability to pull another enviable arrow from his quiver. 

A talent such as Batshuayi’s is one a significant numbers of clubs in England and across the continent would highly desire.

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