Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has admitted that Diego Costa has made it difficult for Michy Batshuayi to settle at the club.
Costa has been in phenomenal form this season, having scored 13 league goals in 17 matches keeping Batshuayi out of the first-team.
However, Costa picked up a fifth yellow card of the season against Crystal Palace meaning that he is suspended for Chelsea’s game against Bournemouth on Boxing day and Michy Batshuayi will finally get a rare start,
Conte has been sympathizing with his second striker but admits that it is nearly impossible to keep Costa out of the team given his current run of form.
“Yes, Michy’s attitude, his behavior, have been fantastic. He wants to improve his quality,” Conte said.
“Technical quality, physical quality. We are working a lot with him on tactical aspects.”
“Yes, but he’s showing great commitment, great work-rate during the training sessions, great passion.”
“For sure, he wants to play and it’s not easy when you have in front of you Costa.”
“Above all this Costa, who is playing fantastic football and scoring a lot of goals. But I repeat: it’s important for Michy to continue to work, to continue to improve. I’m sure his moment will arrive.”
“I think every single player, every forward, is different for characteristics. Because the players are different.”
“Michy is different if you compare him to Diego. Above all because, first of all, he’s a younger player.”
“He can improve a lot. For sure, to stay close to Diego, you can learn a lot to improve your experience and improve your skills. But, for sure, to have the training sessions with great players improves you.”
Michy Batshuayi has only made Cup starts with a handful of league appearances from the bench.
The Belgian has been linked with a move away from the Stamford Bridge, however, Conte insists that the 23-year-old is working hard and is patient to earn his chance at the club.
“In this case I prefer not to give more pressure on the players because I think it’s no good to do that. Michy, if I decide to put him in the starting XI, is ready to play,” Conte added.
“It’s not important to talk and put more pressure on him. He must do what he knows, what we are doing in the training sessions. Only this. If Michy is here, it’s because he deserves to stay here.”