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.
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.’
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.’