Things might be going well for Chelsea on the pitch, but Ray Wilkins has discussed two negative aspects in Antonio Conte’s squad.
The Blues are five points clear at the top of the Premier League table and advanced to the fourth round of the FA Cup at the weekend, with Conte looking to deliver silverware at Stamford Bridge in his first season in charge.
However, much has been made of the Italian’s decision not to give summer signing Michy Batshuayi more playing time, with the Belgian international making just 17 appearances in all competitions with limited minutes.
As noted by Sky Sports, the £33m signing has been linked with a move to Swansea City this month in a swap deal for Fernando Llorente, and Wilkins believes that ultimately the 23-year-old isn’t the right man for the club and Conte will consider his options.
“No, in my humble opinion [he doesn’t offer adequate cover for Diego Costa],” he told Sky Sports News HQ on Monday morning, as noted in the report above.
“I don’t think when you’ve got Costa in the type of form he’s in, that Batshuayi would be the answer to come in.
“When you’re at a big club and you have to win, sometimes players can’t take the mental side of it on board and they really struggle. I think Batshuayi is a prime example of that.”
Wilkins, who played for the club between 1973 and 1979 and was later an assistant in separate spells, also went on to discuss the decision from Conte to recall Nathan Ake.
The Dutchman was impressing at Bournemouth through the first half of the season and would have been delighted to be playing regular football and gaining experience in the English top flight.
In turn, Wilkins has questioned the decision to take him back and believes that the youngster will be “distraught” about leaving Bournemouth where he was starting week in and week out, to now being a squad player in west London and likely struggling for playing time.