Chelsea have completed their second signing of the summer transfer window in Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco. With a fee in the region of £40 million, the newly-crowned Ligue 1 Champion is expected to join the squad prior to their East Asian pre-season tour. Rumours of potential Manchester United involvement were swirling, but with Nemanja Matic seemingly on his way out Chelsea were eager to secure the signing.
Chelsea sign Tiemoue Bakayoko
Joining Monaco from Rennes in 2014, Bakayoko projected himself onto the world stage last season. With dominant performances in the Champions League his partnership with Fabinho became one of the most coveted in Europe. The Frenchman was strongly linked to Chelsea in 2017, with transfer negotiations taking the better part of the summer.
The deal seemed likely to happen given Conte’s growing reputation at the club level. Reports in France suggest Bakayoko was keen to work with the Italian after a year under Leonardo Jardim. Monaco secured a deal for Belgian starlet Youri Tielemans earlier in the window, suggesting the deal was well on its way. As both Atlético Madrid and Manchester United faltered in their pursuit of Fabinho, it allowed Bakayoko to make the move.
A Big Role for a Big Man
Bakayoko adds power and dynamism to an already strong midfield at Chelsea. With a skill set somewhere between Tottenham’s Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembélé, he could be an excellent asset for the 2017-18 season. Given the injection of extra fixtures associated with European football, the extra depth will be needed.
Whether Chelsea employ a 3-5-2, 3-4-3, or 4-3-3 next season the 23-year-old will certainly be involved. His obvious physical prowess sees the Chelsea midfield shift to something reminiscent of José Mourinho’s first stint at the club, with bonafide pivot in Kanté, a more dynamic #8 in Bakayoko and a creator in Fabregas. Although Chelsea primarily played in a two man midfield last season, he allows Conte to play three in the midfield in the bigger matches.
Chelsea are eager to mount a serious title defence as well as a deep Champions League run. With Antonio Rudiger and Bakayoko joining the side, Chelsea are well on their way to doing so.