Chelsea star handed major lifeline by Conte, January exit not guaranteed

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After scoring a brace in Chelsea’s FA Cup win over Newcastle United on Sunday, striker Michy Batshuayi received more positive news after the game.

The 24-year-old has struggled for regular playing time this season under Antonio Conte, making 25 appearances in all competitions but with many of those being brief outings off the bench.

However, he’s still managed to score 10 goals and provide two assists, as an argument could be made that he has deserved a little more faith from Conte to feature more regularly and prove his worth to the Blues.

Especially with summer signing Alvaro Morata struggling for goals having gone without one in his last six outings, Batshuayi will arguably feel as though he could have contributed more.

Now Conte has suggested that unless there is movement with players coming in, he doesn’t want to lose his back-up striker before Wednesday’s transfer deadline.

“Loan? I don’t know what happens. But when you play Premier League, Champions League and then FA Cup, if we have three strikers it is the minimum,” Conte is quoted as saying by the Evening Standard.

Further, the Italian tactician did add that ultimately the decision will be down to Batshuayi as to whether he wants to stay or leave, as he’ll surely have one eye on making the Belgium squad for the World Cup in Russia this summer and it’s debatable as to whether playing a bit-part role at Chelsea will help him do that.

Nevertheless, Conte makes a fair point as with his side competing for three different targets this season still, he can’t afford to let a striker go and be short in that department, especially having not so long ago suffered with a goal drought having scored one goal in four games in all competitions earlier in the month.

Unless a new player comes in to add more firepower, keeping Batshuayi at Stamford Bridge seems like a very sensible decision for the club at least.

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