Newcastle United were linked with Michy Batshuayi as far back as 2015, the striker having moved to Marseille from Standard Liege in 2014 as a 20 year old for £5m.
Indeed, in the January 2016 transfer window L’equipe reported that Newcastle had made a late bid for Batshuayi but both Marseille and the player were said to have turned it down, as they wanted to keep their options open until the end of the season and see what would be on offer then.
Newcastle instead took Seydou Doumbia on loan and were relegated, whilst summer 2016 saw Michy Batshuayi move to Chelsea for £33m, both the forward and Marseille seemingly getting a far better deal than anything Newcastle could have offered six months earlier.
However, like so many before him, despite the price tag the 23 year old has hardly had a kick this season in the Premier League.
Only one start and Batshuayi had to wait until the final week of the season for that to happen.
In all, he only played 236 minutes of league football last season and watched from the bench as Chelsea were dominant throughout, after a relatively shaky opening few games.
The striker scored five Premier League goals but as the season closed Michy Batshuayi hinted at what he is capable of, scoring four goals in 126 minutes of football in the final week of the season. Two sub appearances and his first PL start, with goals against Watford, West Brom and Sunderland (2).
Despite the lack of football, Batshuayi has been looking at the positives this week, saying that in these ‘difficult moments…you learn the most’ and that being around the likes of Hazard and Fabregas makes you into a better player.
However, the reality is that the striker also admits he can’t afford another season of playing next to no football, desperate to get his club football career back on track (playing wise) and also if he is to have any hope of featuring for Belgium in next summer’s World Cup.
Including cup games, Batshuayi scored nine goals last season at a rate of one every 78 minutes.
Whatever happens with Tammy Abraham, if Newcastle could land Michy Batshuayi on loan deal for next season, with Chelsea unlikely to be willing to sell at the minute, they would have a potentially top class striker.
On Monday the Chelsea forward got his first start for Belgium since he moved to West London, scoring in a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic. In his time at Stamford Bridge, Batshuayi had previously only managed 26 minutes in two sub appearances for his country.
Newcastle would be landing a player who is totally driven and who scored 33 goals in 53 starts (pus 25 as sub) for Marseille, with Rafa’s links with Chelsea hopefully the Magpies would be in with a decent chance if the player is available.
Michy Batshuayi asked on international duty with Belgium whether he could put up with another season of sitting on the bench:
“No, no, no. Everyone knows that I have to play more, that I have to score goals.
“There is a World Cup coming up next year – I want to be ready for the World Cup.
“I’m not going to ask anything, instead I am going to listen to what they are saying. They’re the boss, not me.
“Afterwards I will discuss it with my agent and the club. Amicably, as friends of course.
“A loan? That’s not up to me. That’s up to them (Chelsea) they take the decisions, not me.”
“I have lived difficult moments but it is in times like these that you learn the most.
“When you are surrounded by top class players: Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard, all of them, you only can make progress in a situation like that.
“I haven’t played a lot but I managed to scored one of the most important goals (at West Brom, which clinched the title) and it gave me a boost – good for me, good for the team.
“Of course I wanted to play more and of course I wanted to score more goals, that is normal and all players want that.
“But we have become champions and that is really good for me – it is a wonderful experience.”