Monaco were the toast of the town last summer. But that had a downside. Their dream run in the French Ligue 1 had caught the attention of several top-tier clubs. The cash-rich teams prized away most of their star players. However, the French club managed to keep hold of a few of talents and Thomas Lemar is one of them.
At Chelsea, Antonio Conte managed to sign Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco in the summer but could raid the French side once again. Conte did not get some of his desired targets in the summer and the board is keen to make amends in the winter.
Chelsea are ready to offer cash plus Michy Batshuayi in January to lure the French talent to London, according to reports. Conte wants some reinforcements in attack as he has raised concerns over the impossible workload that has been placed upon Alvaro Morata this season.
Conte has often refrained from using Batshuayi in the starting XI and played Eden Hazard as the striker in the last game when Morata was rested. If this move goes through, it could well turn out to be one of the most expensive deals in the winter transfer window.
Batshuayi was signed in the summer of 2016 from Marseille and he was destined to become a regular starter for the Blues at that point in time. Conte, though, has constantly shown lack of faith in him and the Belgian has found his name on the bench very often.
While his finishing during his Marseille days was pretty good, he hasn’t been able to replicate the same for Chelsea. Repeatedly, Michy has come to Chelsea’s rescue by delivering impressive performances coming on from the bench. The problem has been his lacklustre displays when handed a start.
Batshuayi has been inconsistent and the lack of temperament has been a major issue that has thwarted his development at Stamford Bridge.
Lemar, on the other hand, was stupendous in Monaco’s title-winning season last year. He along with Kylian Mbappe and Radamel Falcao wreaked havoc on the opposition with their consistent displays. The French forward is really quick, has good dribbling skills, can cut in from the wide areas and has an eye for the goal. Unlike Batshuayi, he is capable of playing in almost anywhere in the attack. Versatility is something that Chelsea need right now, and Lemar fits the bill.
This season, he has failed to repeat last season’s exploits with Monaco. In 18 appearances in all the competitions, Lemar has netted thrice and assisted the same number of times. In the absence of his former teammates, he has lacked the same kind of support in attack and hence there has been a slight dip in form.
Deal or no deal?
When Conte loses faith in a player, he actually does not revert (ask Diego Costa)! Michy’s road to a starting spot looks increasingly difficult at Chelsea.
Lemar, on the other hand, looks to be the real deal for the manager. The London based team is ready to offer a great player plus cash deal and it would be interesting to see how this transfer pans out; especially considering the fact that the player has attracted interest from Liverpool and Arsenal too.