With Chelsea raring to win the Premier League, Antonio Conte needs to carry out some preemptive measures. Not surprisingly, there have been suggestions that the Chelsea boss wants to add another striker to the ranks. With Diego Costa being sublime this season, the Blues don’t need a first-team striker, but they do require a capable back-up whenever the need arises. Costa has been disciplined this season, but still carries the risk of blowing up anytime, and hence, precautions must be taken.
Chelsea signed Michy Batshuayi from Marseille in the summer. The Belgian had done exceedingly well with the French club in the last couple of seasons, and it made sense for the player to move to greener pastures, especially considering Marseille were in deep crisis after Marcelo Bielsa resigned.
The 23-year-old has had a fantastic scoring record in France, but for him to be able to deliver the same end-product, he needs to play more often. He needs more game-time than Chelsea have been able to offer which is just less than 400 minutes. While Conte must rate him massively, considering he decided to spend £31.5 million on him last summer, he has also shown that he doesn’t trust him to lead the team’s attack in Costa’s absence. His minutes or the lack of, in the Premier League are as telling as the decision to operate Eden Hazard as a false nine against Bournemouth. This, more than anything else, made it clear that the Belgian isn’t even the second-choice striker for Chelsea.
At 23 years of age, it is ideal for Michy Batshuayi to be at a place where he can play regularly to ensure his development is not halted. It’s hard for him to be competing with Diego Costa, a player who seems to be at his peak. Batshuayi needs time, and he needs faith and space to demonstrate his goalscoring prowess, something that made him so famous in Marseille. Chelsea will be assured sending the player to a place which has recently seen former Chelsea coach Paul Clement take over. For Swansea, losing Llorente for a rookie would represent a risk, as it could make their survival prospects more difficult. However, Batshuayi would add another dimension to their attack. Batshuayi needs the game-time and will get it at Swansea. More importantly, his pace will benefit Swansea, a team that played some incredible direct and counter-attacking football at a time. Llorente is more static but the Belgian could ensure that the same directness and agility can be brought (back) to the Liberty Stadium. His presence would also benefit talented playmaker like Gylfi Sigurdsson, who would be able to maximise his magnificent vision by laying passes to the very quick Michy Batshuayi.
At Chelsea, Llorente would be teaming up with his former manager. Conte knows him from his time at Juventus, and the 31-year-old scored 16 Serie A goals for the Italian boss back in 2013-14. Llorente is a seasoned professional, someone who could be an ideal backup option to fall back for in high-pressure situations, or when Diego Costa is missing for some reason. He would be perfect for the backup role at Chelsea, something he should be willing to take on at this stage in his career.