With Diego Costa suspended on Boxing Day, Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi would have been confident about his chances of getting a rare start.
However, it didn’t quite go to plan as Antonio Conte opted to leave him out and go without a natural striker against Bournemouth, with Pedro, Willian and Eden Hazard given the responsibility of leading the Chelsea front line.
Given that two of that trio scored to put the Blues in a commanding position to win the game, it proved Conte right as his side look to make it 12 consecutive Premier League wins to extend their lead at the top of the standings.
Nevertheless, it’s a massive slap in the face for Batshuayi, with the Belgian not getting the opportunities at Stamford Bridge that he would have expected when he decided to join the club.
The former Marseille striker joined the Blues in a £33m deal this past summer, as per The Guardian, but has managed to make just 14 appearances in all competitions with five goals and an assist to show for his efforts.
However, he’s managed just 76 minutes in the Premier League so far this season, and for a player with big ambitions and having shown how good he can be, sitting on the bench is not what he wants.
In turn, time will tell as to whether or not it’s enough to force him to consider his options, with a short-term loan deal away from Chelsea for the rest of the season arguably a sensible option to keep him sharp and playing regularly.
In contrast, with no real depth behind Costa, Conte will likely want to keep hold of him to use him when he really needs cover regardless of his snub on Monday, but he’ll have to start playing him more often and keep him happy before the situation becomes a little more tense.