Chelsea Football Club have this week confirmed the signing of the Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi from Marseille for a fee believed to be in the region of £33 million or €40 million.
The 22-year-old has become Antonio Conte’s first official signing since agreeing to take over the manager’s job at Stamford Bridge, despite the fact that he’s only just left France where he had been managing the Italian national side in the European Championships.
Batshuayi joined Marseille from Standard Liege back in 2014, making his international debut the following March in a 5-0 win over Cyprus in a Euro 2016 qualifying game. He scored 23 goals for the French side last season, leading many clubs to keep close tabs on him.
The Belgian striker scored in his country’s last-16 match against Hungary, helping them earn a quarter-final draw with Wales. Sadly he was unable to aid the Belgians in their quest for Euros glory, even though he came off the bench in the match that the Red Devils eventually lost 3-1 to Gareth Bale and his teammates.
He is not the only Belgian player to be on the books of the West London club, of course. Both Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois have been out in France with him and have apparently been telling him all about life at Stamford Bridge. He said, “I am delighted to sign for one of the biggest clubs in Europe. Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois have told me many good things about the club, and with Antonio Conte coming in, it’s an exciting time to become a Chelsea player”.
He will be hoping that he can continue his good relationship with Hazard. He came off the bench during Belgium’s game against Hungary and scored a goal with his first touch after a brilliant cross was played to him by his new Chelsea teammate.