Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has opened up the club’s decision to send Tiemoue Bakayoko back to Monaco on loan.
25-year-old defensive midfielder Bakayoko made the move to Chelsea in the summer of 2017, after the Frenchman played an integral role in Monaco’s shock Ligue 1 title triumph and run to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
The Blues splashed out a hefty £40 million on his signature, making Bakayoko, at the time, the second-most expensive signing in Chelsea’s history.
However, the powerful midfielder’s solitary campaign at Stamford Bridge subsequently proved a massive disappointment, with Bakayoko having looked a shell of the dominant force he had embodied whilst at Monaco.
AC Milan stint
As such, it came as little surprise when Chelsea agreed to sanction a loan move away from London for Bakayoko last summer.
In the end, the Rennes youth product made the move to Serie A giants AC Milan for the season.
But, despite recovering from a dismal start at the San Siro to eventually establish himself as one of the Rossoneri’s star performers, Milan opted against making his signing permanent this summer, after missing out on Champions League football.
Bakayoko on the move again
As such, Bakayoko subsequently returned to Stamford Bridge, though it had long been rumoured that he would be on the move again before the close of the European transfer window tomorrow.
And the Frenchman’s latest temporary Chelsea exit was last night confirmed.
Bakayoko has secured a return to where he made his name, rejoining Monaco for the remainder of the season.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 31, 2019
The Ligue 1 outfit are also said to have an option to buy next summer, worth a hefty €42.5 million.
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) August 31, 2019
‘Bring himself back to where he wants to be’
Speaking on the back of his side’s disappointing stalemate with Sheffield United yesterday afternoon, meanwhile, Frank Lampard was questioned on the club’s decision to allow Bakayoko to move on.
And the Blues’ boss went on to compare the situation of the 25-year-old to that of Danny Drinkwater (who joined Burnley on loan this summer), before pointing to the depth of the midfield options at his disposal, as key to the call:
‘Danny has been here for two years and hadn’t played many games. He was eager for his own benefit, which I felt was good for us.’
‘Bakayoko similarly was here for one season, went on loan and going on loan again to try to bring himself back to where he wants to be.’
‘If you want to talk midfield players we have got Jorginho, [Mateo ] Kovacic, [N’Golo] Kante, [Mason] Mount, [Ross] Barkley. Reece James coming back from injury who can play in midfield, Andreas Christensen who can play in midfield. I have to make decisions on the squad as a whole. That is my job.’
Quotes via Goal