Chelsea have completed the signing of young Belgian forward Michy Batshuayi. The 22 year old Batshuayi joins us from Olympique Marseille in France after a considerably good season in front of goal. Not many Chelsea fans know who he is, however. Signing a relatively unknown striker for a commanding fee of around €40 million could seem alarming to most, but he has been building a pretty good reputation for himself.
Although Michy has flown under the radar of most, I have been lucky enough to have seen him play since his early days at Standard Liege in his native Belgium. At first, I would catch a few Standard games when I could so I could keep tabs on a different young forward; Imoh Ezekiel of Nigeria. He was making waves in the Nigerian football circle so I had to watch him. I initially kept my eye solely on young Ezekiel but I noticed that his teammate in Batshuayi was just as, if not more, impressive. I would look up the weekly Belgian Pro League scores and see that both of them had been scoring regularly. However, Batshuayi’s name started appearing on the scoresheet more frequently that Ezekiel’s. I expected great things for both of their futures
After the 2013-14 season, both young forwards made very different career choices. Imoh Ezekiel decided to move to Qatar while Batshuayi sealed a move to Marseille. A move to Ligue 1 is for more lucrative than the Qatari league (no disrespect) so it seemed that Batshuayi was progressing better. I wondered if he could continue his goal-scoring prowess in a tougher league. He found starting opportunities scarce but was able to find the back of the net when called upon from the bench.
The most recent Ligue 1 season saw Batshuayi as Marseille’s starter up front. Marseille had a pretty poor season by their usual standards. A team usually finishing in a European cup position saw themselves finish in 13th place. The only bright spot for them was Batshuayi’s incredible form in front of goal. He netted 23 times in all competitions, 17 of those in the league. He had a hand in just over half of Marseille’s Ligue 1 goals. He was clearly the focal attacking point in a sub-par team. Many of his goals came in losing efforts so it makes sense that a player of his talent would grow frustrated and seek a move else. That being said, we should welcome him at Chelsea with open arms.
The last forward we signed from Marseille turned out to be pretty decent. Perhaps Michy Batshuayi can emulate Drogba’s success.
I know Youtube compilation videos aren’t the best way to gauge talent, but I’ve taken the liberty to add a video of all the goals young Michy scored last season. All credit for this video goes to Martovskyi’s Youtube channel. Enjoy.