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Tieumoue Bakayoko disappoints again for Chelsea against Leicester City

The Frenchman looked to struggle against his FA Cup opponents.

Jake Jackman

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Photo: Getty Images

Tieumoue Bakayoko was one of the big-name signings for Chelsea during the summer as the club tried to push on under Antonio Conte after their Premier League triumph.

The Frenchman had been a standout player for AS Monaco during their surprise Ligue 1 winning campaign and cost the Blues a reported £40 million.

Although they are one of the richest clubs in the world, that remains a big spend and they would have been expecting a first-team ready player.

That hasn’t been the case as Bakayoko has struggled to adapt to English football and has found himself sidelined for Danny Drinkwater on several occasions.

The England international is an experienced Premier League player, but he was brought in to provide cover. It is a worry that he has been performing better than the player brought in to partner N’Golo Kante.

(Photo by Adrian Dennis/Getty Images)

Chelsea managed to qualify for the semi-final of the FA Cup with an extra-time victory over Leicester City. However, Bakayoko was underwhelming once again after being brought back into the starting eleven.

He lasted until half-time before being replaced by Cesc Fabregas. During the first half, the Blues were too predictable in central midfield as neither player offered creativity from deep.

Wilfred Ndidi was arguably the best player in that area of the pitch as he dominated Bakayoko and Kante for the first-half.

The summer signing from Monaco was booked just before the break and didn’t re-emerge for the second-half. It was another disappointing performance from him as he failed to take the opportunity provided by Antonio Conte.

During the match, Bakayoko had a tackle success rate of 33% and he failed to make a single key pass to influence proceedings in the attacking half.

It was obvious that he was lacking in confidence as he often chose the simple pass and wasn’t as aggressive as the Leicester midfield players that he was competing with.

As the season has progressed, central midfield has emerged as an area of weakness for Chelsea. They often play with two defensive-minded midfielders and that makes them predictable to play against.

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Last season, Nemanja Matic was more dynamic in central areas and he wasn’t afraid to step into the attacking half to contribute to attacks. The decision to sell him to a rival club now looks a huge mistake as the Blues are less effective in the middle of the park.

It was hoped that Ross Barkley would provide more energy to that position, but he has struggled with injuries since moving to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have a difficult task to save their season, as they must finish in the top four and lift the FA Cup to restore pride.

Bakayoko needs to have a strong end to his season if he is to prove himself worthy of another chance next season. There is likely to be a new manager at Stamford Bridge with Antonio Conte’s position looking more untenable by the day.

A managerial change will lead to a squad overhaul and the 23-year-old will be one of the first to go. He doesn’t offer anything different to Kante and his compatriot is far superior in every area.

His most ardent supporters will allude to his inexperience and suggest that he needs to be given more time. However, when watching him against the 21-year-old Ndidi, it became clear that he isn’t good enough for a club like Chelsea. He was outclassed and outbattled by his younger opponent.

Since Roman Abramovich bought the club, there have been several mistakes made in the transfer market. The decision to sell Matic and sign Bakayoko was another.

Jake is a journalist based in the South East. He is a Newcastle United fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

Chelsea

Three goalkeepers Leicester should target if Kasper Schmeichel leaves

Chelsea are keen to sign Kasper Schmeichel, which would leave Leicester in need of a replacement.

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Kasper Schmeichel
Photo: Getty Images

Leicester City could be in need of rejuvenation between the stick if Chelsea get their way, as the Blues are eyeing Kasper Schmeichel.

Sky Sports state the Denmark international is a target for new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri amidst continued speculation that Thibaut Courtois is off to Real Madrid – a transfer that now seems increasingly likely to go ahead.

After featuring for his nation at the World Cup, speculation suggesting 31-year-old Schmeichel will seek a new challenge for the 2018/19 season has been growing, with Sky Sports previously reporting the Premier League winner is also a target for Roma.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

If Schmeichel is to leave, then Leicester boss Claude Puel must invest funds on a new goalkeeper in the market and these three options would be tremendous signings.

“Those Champions league nights are special. There is something about the night games, going away to different cities, it makes it unique.”

Schmeichel’s comments in 2017 may hint at a move for European football.

Jack Butland

England international Jack Butland may not have been first-choice for Gareth Southgate during the club’s tremendous run to the World Cup semi-finals but a major transfer could be on the cards before the window shuts.

Stoke City‘s relegation means that Butland will find it difficult to fight for a spot in the national side next season if he remains in the second-tier and Leicester would be the ideal surroundings for the 25-year-old, though a stern fight may emerge for his services.

The Sun reported Chelsea’s interest earlier this month but the Blues pursuit of Schmeichel suggests that their targets have changed, while the Mirror has thrown doubt on Liverpool‘s reported interest as Jurgan Klopp is content with the goalkeeping options he has at Anfield.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

David Ospina

Boasting vast experience at international level, after starring for Colombia in the previous two World Cups, David Ospina also possesses Premier League and European experience – all of which would encourage Leicester to make a move.

Arsenal are ready to approve a departure following their capture of Germany international Bernd Leno and the Mirror states that the Gunners will accept a fee of just £6 million for the 29-year-old due to the fact he has entered the final 12 months of his contract.

Boca Juniors are also in the hunt for Ospina’s services but the player’s agent told El Crack Deportivo that a move to South America would be difficult to materialise and his preference is to remain in European football.

(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Cho Hyun-Woo

Prior to the World Cup, Cho Hyun-Woo told ESPN that he dreams of playing in England and the performances of the South Korea goalkeeper in Russia have increased the possibility of that becoming a reality.

The 26-year-old starred for his nation in a difficult group alongside Mexico, Sweden and Germany but stunned the latter with a shock victory that saw the defending champions knocked out prematurely, with Hyun-Woo capturing plenty of attention for a number of superb stops.

An advisor of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told Dagbladet that the Reds should secure a move for the Daegu FC player and Leicester should be alerted as a result, as he could prove to be a superb acquisition.

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Chelsea

Three reasons why Kenedy can become Newcastle’s talisman next season

The 22-year-old made an instant impact when he joined on loan last season.

Liam Thomas

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Kenedy
Photo: Getty Images

Newcastle United managed to acquire Kenedy’s services for another season, after bringing the silky winger in on loan last January from Chelsea.

During his time at St. James’ Park last season, the Brazilian showed glimpses of the genius that saw Chelsea bring him into their ranks from Brazilian powerhouse Fluminense and he will, in no doubt, be an extremely effective weapon for Rafael Benitez to have at his disposal next season.

But can the 22-year-old take it up a notch and become Newcastle’s star man in the 2018/19 Premier League season?

A brilliant manager to learn from

Kenedy will again have to chance to play under Spanish tactician Rafael Benitez, a manager who’s done and won it all.

Benitez seemed to get the best out of Kenedy last season for the Magpies, and the young Brazilian won’t find many other managers around who are invested in getting the very best out of their young talents.

He had a huge impact playing just half the season for Newcastle

When Kenedy arrived on Tyneside in January, Benitez’ team were struggling, and in a rut of bad form, the Brazilian played his part in turning the clubs fortunes around and helped his new side to a top half finish.

It is a mouthwatering prospect to think for Newcastle fans what Kenedy will achieve with the club given a full season with them, and now he has fully settled into life in the city, he may be able to make an even bigger impact next season.

Young, ambitious and highly rated

At 22 years of age, Kenedy is poised to have the best season of his career so far and his energetic style of play bodes well for Newcastle next season.

You only have to look back as far as April to see the kind of teams interested in taking Kenedy into their ranks for the new season. Sky Sports reported that Bayern Munich and PSG were considering launching bids for the winger; a testament to how highly rated he is.

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Tottenham Hotspur must avoid repeat of Willian situation as Chelsea enter Malcom race

Tottenham are again looking to beat Chelsea to the signing of a Brazilian attacking talent.

Mathew Nash

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Tottenham Hotspur are back in the race for Brazilian winger Malcom. Le10 Sport reported this week that Spurs are now the frontrunners for the player, with Inter Milan falling short in their pursuit. The French source claimed Malcom was now available for just £35.3 million.

The same source has since gone on to report that Tottenham are now looking into the deal. However, that most recent report also commented on the presence of a transfer rival. It is suggested that Chelsea are entering the race.

Which immediately harks back to memories of Tottenham’s failed pursuit for Willian in 2013. Andre Villas-Boas had identified the Anzhi Makhachkala winger as the perfect option for Spurs. As reported by the BBC, a £30 million fee was agreed and a medical had been undertaken. Willian, was set to be a Tottenham player.

(during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on April 1, 2018 in London, England.

However, two days later, Willian had joined Chelsea.

It was a huge blow for Spurs and left them open to ridicule from Chelsea fans.

The parallels are clear. A talented young Brazilian winger wanted by Spurs, but with Chelsea set to swoop in.

The irony on this occasion is that Chelsea may even be targeting Malcom as a replacement for Willian, who is a target for Barcelona and Manchester United.

Tottenham must not be left with their tails between their legs once again.

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