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Can Chelsea’s New Signing Emulate Blues’ Greatest Ever?

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Michy Batshuayi Tunga

Chelsea had a nightmare of a last season, where they recorded the worst title defense in the history of the Premier League. It started with the lady doctor Eva Carneiro and ended with John Terry crying. Every step in a forward direction, every burst of form, was swiftly followed by embarrassing defeats with poor performances. Most of the players seemed a shadow of themselves, the likes of Eden Hazard and Costa struggled to get going all season.

All this resulted in the sacking of Jose Mourinho mid-way through the season. Guus Hiddink was brought in by Abramovich to steady the ship, but the Dutchman could only secure 10th place, unheard of in the Abramovich era, as the Blues crashed out of the Champions League to Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16. The signing of Falcao was a disaster, Pedro was brilliant on his debut but soon faded away. It was only the performance of Willian that kept the team above water.

Antonio Conte will arrive at Stamford Bridge in the coming few days, and he has been brilliant with the  Italian national team at the Euros and looks determined to get Chelsea back on top. Chelsea have just confirmed their first signing of the summer, which sees Michy Batshuayi arriving from Marseille in a €40 million switch. The pressure will be on him, as he becomes the first signing of the new era at Chelsea.

Despite being pursued by a host of top European clubs, including Juventus and Tottenham, he has decided to follow international team-mates Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois to Stamford Bridge. He scored with his first touch in Belgium’s 4-0 thrashing of Hungary last week. Due to his goal scoring abilities and strong physique the Belgian striker has been compared to both Didier Drogba and Romelu Lukaku in the early stages of their careers.

The Batshuayi deal has set a new record transfer received by Marseille, which had previously been set by Drogba with his move to Stamford Bridge in 2004 for £24m, leading to comparisons between the two forwards. The 22 year old has scored 17 goals in Ligue 1 last season. The important thing to notice here is that he didn’t get them in a glut but they came steadily throughout the season.

Batshuayi has been amongst the goals wherever he has played in his short career. He managed 23 goals for Standard Liege in the 2013/14 season to help the club finish as runners-up in the Belgian league, before moving to Marseille where he found the net 33 times in 78 appearances. He was involved in 54% of Marseille’s Ligue 1 goals last season, as his side finished in a disappointing 13th place.

While he physically very strong, it’s his pace and movement that provides the real threat to the opposition, quite in contrast with Drogba, who relied on his size and power to great effect in both his build up play and when he found himself in front of goal. One can also say that Batshuayi is more technically sound than Drogba, something which will come handy while playing two up top.

The Belgian himself doesn’t see any comparisons between himself and Drogba and even told the club’s official website, “We are different people, I totally respect the career Didier had at Chelsea and I am going to do my best.”