A year ago, Tiémoué Bakayoko was not in the plans of Chelsea’s then-new manager Maurizio Sarri, and was shipped out to Italian giants AC Milan on a season-long loan, where he impressed.
The Frenchman is back at Chelsea and will be a part of the Blues’ pre-season tour, but his future may not be at Chelsea, as per reports.
The 24-year-old midfielder could be on the move once again, and this time he has been linked with a move to Chelsea’s Premier League rivals Manchester United, while French champions Paris Saint-Germain are also reportedly interested in signing him.
The Frenchman joined Chelsea from Monaco in 2017 for around £40 million, but didn’t have a good season at the London club following his Ligue 1 winning exploits with Monaco the season before.
His contract at Chelsea expires in 2022, and there’s a possibility that he could leave the club as Chelsea currently have many options in central midfield, with the likes of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Ross Barkley, Mateo Kovačić, Danny Drinkwater, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, the options that Lampard has in midfield.
Makes sense for Manchester United to sign Tiemoue Bakayoko?
Bakayoko had a good season at AC Milan in the 2018-19 season, where he averaged 2.3 tackles in Serie A and 1.4 clearances in the season.
The defensive midfielder played in 42 games for the Italian giants, scoring once and assisting once, but it was his overall work-rate, contribution in attack and defence, as well as his passing from midfield that impressed.
An all-round, box-to-box player who can dribble, pass, defend, and intercept balls from a defensive midfield or central midfield role, Bakayoko has the talent to be a very good player, but his form with Chelsea in his one season with the club didn’t showcase a lot of his talents.
Manchester United need reinforcements in midfield, even more so if Paul Pogba leaves the club, and Bakayoko could be a shrewd signing, if the price is right.
Nemanja Matic had a very average season in the base of midfield, and Bakayoko could be an upgrade on the former Chelsea player. Last season’s big-money signing, Fred, failed in his first year with Manchester United, while the exit of Ander Herrera means that United will have to start with a midfield of Matic, Pogba, and youngster Scott McTominay.
Solskjaer needs at least two more central midfielders, and Bakayoko could be an option for United if they do not secure their first-choice targets.