Watching AS Monaco play so far this season has been exciting. A couple of their players have really impressed me. Benjamin Mendy, Bernardo Silva, Thomas Lemar and Kylian Mbappe in particular have been hugely praised by all, and rightly so. However, I believe Monaco’s unsung hero is Tiemoue Bakayoko.
Tiemoue Bakayoko bullied Manchester City’s midfield in the Champions league second round second leg match played in France a few days ago. He even got his side their winning goal in the tie. Unfortunately for Monaco and fortunately for fans of the Premier League, especially Chelsea fans – the Blues are said to be preparing a £32 million move for the 22-year-old.
Chelsea are yet to reinvest the £52 million they got from the sale of Oscar in the January transfer window and it appears manager Antonio Conte is not a big fan of Nemanja Matic, whilst Cesc Fabregas doesn’t suit his teams playing style so well. This means another central midfielder may be signed over the summer. Hence the links to Bakayoko is not a surprising one. Imagine a Chelsea midfield containing N’Golo Kante and Bakayoko shielding the defence? That would be water tight.
Can Chelsea sign Bakayoko?
I think the Blues really have a chance of signing the newly-capped France international if Antonio Conte really wants him. Chelsea will not be without competition for the signature of the holding midfielder though, and if they really want him, they have to move fast or risk losing him to other clubs likely to be interested in him.
Who are likely to be Chelsea’s competition for Bakayoko’s signature
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger knows the French league inside out and has a lot of contacts in his home country. He was also once in charge at Monaco and may get a few favours from the club if he needs. Arsenal could certainly do with a player like Bakayoko, especially with Santi Cazorla looking like he won’t be a reliable player for the Gunners any more. It will be a surprise if the Gunners don’t make a move for Bakayoko once the transfer window opens.
Another club likely to be interested in Bakayoko is Manchester City. The French midfielder is very much like Yaya Toure who he bullied and overpowered in the battle of midfield in the Champions League this past week. Pep Guardiola could see Bakayoko as the ideal replacement for the ageing Yaya Toure. Toure has maybe 1 more year left in him at the top at best and signing Bakayoko would be good business in the long run for City.
Manchester United could also do with the player. They are stocked in midfield number wise but none of their players are as good as Bakayoko defensively. The signing of the Frenchman would help bring out the best from Paul Pogba, whom Jose Mourinho is yet to find an ideal partner for.
Will Monaco be willing to sell?
Well no club will want to sell their best players. But Chelsea and any other English club have a good chance of getting any of the Monaco players simply because the Premier League is more attractive when compared to the French league and the English clubs can afford to pay Bakayoko and or any of his teammates big salaries – and we know money talks.