Jun 11, 2017
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Who is Tiemoue Bakayoko, Chelsea’s imminent first signing of the summer?

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The Telegraph claim that Chelsea could announce their first summer signing as early as next week, after rapid progress in the last few days in talks with Tiemoue Bakayoko. The Monaco midfielder could now head to London for a medical and put pen to paper on a move to see him wear the blue of Chelsea in the Premier League next season.

Who is he?

The 22-year-old French international plays in central midfield and has been likened in style to the likes of Yaya Toure. Now, the midfielder could follow in Toure’s footsteps in leaving Monaco to take the next step in his career.

Where’s he been?

Bakayoko has spent his whole career to date in France but has only burst onto the scene this season. Having made his debut for Stade Rennais and become a regular at just 18 years of age, he lasted just one season before leaving for Monaco.

Since then, he struggled to establish himself, making just 32 starts in his first two seasons in the principality. This season though, Bakayoko has broken onto the scene and made 44 starts in just one campaign. He also earned his first France cap this season against Spain in March.

What’s his style of play?

The dynamic midfielder usually plays in a deep, holding midfielder style role. Similar to Nemanja Matic in many ways in that he can be relied upon to break up play, Bakayoko also offers a lot more when looking to break from deep with his athleticism.

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The Frenchman also has greater vision and creativity, meaning that when he isn’t looking to move forward with the ball himself he is often looking to play a long ball into the forwards ahead of him.

A final asset for the imminent signing is that he can also represent a threat at set pieces with powerful heading. Manchester City were the victims of this skill when he scored against them in the Champions League this season.

What does it mean for Chelsea?

It is undoubtedly a quality addition for Antonio Conte and his team. Bakayoko could be the perfect candidate to fill in to the middle of midfield alongside N’Golo Kante. That would give both players more freedom to roam forwards with another covering the defensive duties.

However, it will obviously raise doubts over the likes of Cesc Fabregas, who saw his importance diminished this season, and Nemanja Matic, who has just one year left to run on his existing contract at Stamford Bridge.

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Chelsea · Monaco · Transfers

Sam is a Southend United fan and student based in the South-West. He has previously worked for various publications, including FourFourTwo magazine and ITV. Sam also has an extensive knowledge of Spanish football and has previously lived and worked in Spain. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.