Antonio Conte defends poor displays by Chelsea’s summer signing

Tiemoue Bakayoko

Antonio Conte has defended Tiemoue Bakayoko following the midfielder’s struggles at Chelsea since his arrival this summer.

Bakayoko was judged poor by Chelsea fans after the Blues’ 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last Tuesday. Chelsea fans lashed out heavily at Bakayoko on social media after the midfielder’s display against Diego Simeone’s side.

However, Conte has leapt to his summer signing’s defense, insisting he is a “young player” still “trying to improve” at a new club.

“He is a young player, only 22. He is working to try to improve and go into our idea of football. It’s important to have patience and understand mistakes during the game are normal, from every player.

My task is to try to improve my player, especially if a player is 22 years old. He has a lot of space for improvement. At the same time, I am very happy with his commitment and work.”

Antonio Conte, CalcioMercato

Having being secured for over 30 million, fans will be forgiven for desiring more from the French midfielder. The 23-year old started the game against Atletico after being dropped to the bench in Chelsea’s win over Newcastle United in the Premier League last weekend.

Against West Ham on Saturday, it will be interesting to know how Conte will line up in his new five man midfield. One of Danny Drinkwater and Bakayoko will start the game at the Olympic stadium, alongside N’Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas.