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Batshuayi vs. Barcelona analysis: Chelsea loanee needs a goal

With a big smile and playful social media activity, Michy Batshuayi is a popular character among Chelsea fans. That's why they are praying he delivers in his second loan spell away from the club.

Now with Valencia after an impressive spell at Borussia Dortmund last season, Batshuayi is expected to show progress from his bright stint in Germany.

Speaking last week, the 25-year-old said there is only one club he wants to impress.

"This loan is important for my development, to show how good I am so that I can go back to Chelsea a better player," said Batshuayi.

After a slow start to life in Spain, Batshuayi was handed his fourth consecutive start against Barcelona last night. And Tribalfootball was present at the Mestalla to track his performance during the 1-1 draw.


Positives

Batshuayi was integral in allowing Goncalo Guedes and Carlos Soler to exploit Barcelona's vulnerable flanks during Valencia's dominating start to the game.

When goalkeeper Neto had no options, or any of the back four were under pressure, a lofted pass to Batshuayi was often their outlet. The kicks from Neto were especially aimed for Batshuayi to hold the up ball. Batshuayi wasn't shirking from his responsibility as he actively sought contact from either Thomas Vermaelen or Gerard Pique. He showed considerable strength as he successfully held off both centre-backs on more than one occasion and won four aerial battles, more than any other Valencia player. Working on this facet of his game will help him considerably in the Premier League.

Marcelino's growing trust in Batshuayi was evident in his second-half substitutions. With 25 minutes of play last night, the more experienced Kevin Gamiero was withdrawn for Rodrigo. It was a considerable show of faith from the Valencia manager as three points were still there for the taking. Even Batshauyi getting his fourth start for Los Che ahead of Rodrigo - who scored 19 goals last season - shows he must be doing something right in the eyes of Marcelino.


Negatives

For the first 20 minutes Batshuayi looked desperate for the ball. He was providing an option every time Valencia were in possession and worked tirelessly to win the ball back once they were not. It could have been Marcelino's tactics for Batshuayi to save fuel for the latter stages of the game but I would have liked to see him continue this ferocity for longer to try and help Valencia double their advantage. The opportunity was certainly there before Lionel Messi took over.

Batshuayi has to start taking his chances if he wants to become Chelsea's premier striker next season. The man who scored nine goals in 14 appearances for Borussia Dortmund was nowhere to be seen last night. He had three chances, which should be enough for any top-level striker to find the back of the net. There were also occasions where Batshuayi was too unselfish in favourable positions, either dummying or passing the ball off to a teammate. With one goal in four starts, it's pretty simple for Batshuayi if he wants to catch Maurizio Sarri's attention - score goals.

Andrew Maclean
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Andrew Maclean

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