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Chelsea legend explains the key area where Blues summer signing has improved most

Former Chelsea star Claude Makelele believes Tiemoue Bakayoko has become a much stronger defensive player since he first came across him at Monaco.

The France international joined the Blues from the Ligue 1 champions this summer, and has made an immediate impact in midfield for Antonio Conte’s side.

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BBC Sport priced Bakayoko at £40million when he joined, making him one of the club’s most expensive signings ever, but it’s fair to say Makelele is happy with how he’s performed.

Still, the 44-year-old, now on Swansea City’s coaching staff, admits Bakayoko had to improve on his defending, having not quite been at the required level earlier in his career.

‘I met him when I was working in Monaco and I pushed him to make that position his own,’ Makelele told the London Evening Standard. ‘He defends with such quality now.’

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The Frenchman also praised Bakayoko’s qualities alongside the more hard-working N’Golo Kante at Stamford Bridge.

‘[Kante and Bakayoko] are so much stronger together,’ he added.

‘Kante runs a lot, Bakayoko is more of a dribbler, he’s more clever and powerful in possession.’

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