Courtois: Give Batshuayi Time To Adapt

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois believes that his Belgium team-mate and new Chelsea signing Michy Courtois will need time to adapt his game to the rigours of the Premier League.

The forward was new Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte’s first signing since arriving at the club, with the former Italy national manager sanctioning his £33.2 million signing from Marseille in July. The 22-year-old signed a five year deal with the Blues and cut short his post-Euro 2016 holiday in order to link up with his new team-mates during their pre-season tour of America.

Batshuayi had been out in France with the Belgium team for the 2016 European Championships, though he couldn’t stop the Red Devils from being knocked out of the tournament at the quarter-final stage by Wales. He was in the squad on merit with fellow Premier League strikers Romelu Lukaku, formerly of Chelsea and now at Everton, as well as Christian Benteke and Divock Origi who both play for Liverpool.

The French striker scored 33 goals in 78 appearances for Marseille; a return that caught the attention of Conte who was also out in France this summer with his Italy team. Courtois believes that Batshuayi has shown enough to mean he will definitely be a success in the Premier League – as long as he’s given time to settle.

Speaking to the club’s official website the Chelsea goalkeeper said, “Michy is a very strong striker, fast, good technique, he can hold a ball and score a goal very easily with either foot. He is good in the air as well. I won’t say it is his strongest point but he can handle himself and being strong as well is important for that. I hope he can prove himself here as well.”

The Chelsea number one feels that the most important thing his fellow countryman will need to do at Stamford Bridge is adapt as quickly as possible to the pace of life in English football. He said, “He will need to adapt a bit to the speed of the Premier League because I think it is faster than the French League, but I think he will adapt fast. He is working hard so hopefully he will have a good season together with us”.

It is yet to be revealed whether Batshuayi will be Conte’s first-choice striker for the 2016-2017 Premier League campaign, with the club still being linked with a move for their former striker Lukaku. The Belgian forward has confirmed that he hopes to leave Everton this summer, with a return to West London almost certain to be his destination. Rumours are also persisting that Diego Costa could be ready to move back to his former club Atletico Madrid before the window shuts. Conte is known to demand discipline from his players and Costa’s time at Stamford Bridge has been marred by a number of controversial incidents.