Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has called for new signing Tiemoue Bakayoko to improve his game with the ball at his feet – pointing to the change that N’Golo Kante has undergone in the last season.
Kante came under criticism from the Italian boss last term for his performances on the ball – Conte calling for the former Leicester man to be more attack minded whilst in possession. Since then, the Frenchman has seemed to add that element into his game – even finding the back of the net on Saturday against his old club, and Conte now seems determined to send Bakayoko on the same path:
“Baka is 23 years old – he is younger than N’Golo. Last season he played in France and now he is adapting to a new type of football, which is not easy,” Conte told the club’s official website.
“And also he is trying to adapt himself to our idea of football. I think he has great quality. Now he is very strong without the ball, but with work, I think he can improve a lot with the ball, like N’Golo.”
The Chelsea manager went on to discuss the return of Eden Hazard, the Belgian having come off the bench at the King Power Stadium at the weekend:
“Eden is another top player and I am pleased for him because it is not easy to recover from surgery after a bad injury. He needs a bit of time to be 100 per cent fit, but he is a very strong player.”
The Blues kick off their Champions League campaign at home to FK Qarabag on Tuesday night, and Hazard will be hoping to get some valuable minutes under his belt.