Chelsea are said to be on the verge of signing Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi pending a successful medical.
The Guardian reports the 22-year-old is set become Antonio Conte’s first signing in a deal initially worth around £33.2 million.
While the Blues are expected to further strengthen their squad this summer, Batshuayi’s arrival could signal the end of Diego Costa’s reign as the number one striker at Stamford Bridge.
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Since joining from Standard Liege in August 2014, the Belgium international has earned a reputation as one of Europe’s deadliest young goalscorers with 33 goals in all competitions for Marseille.
Few were surprised his powerful build and robust style of play helped him adjust to the rigours of Ligue 1 with minimum fuss – and those same attributes could see him excel in the Premier League, too.
Batshuayi racked up 17 Ligue 1 goals last season, but he is not merely a forward hell-bent on hitting the back of the net. He also possesses a touch of creative flair to help create openings for his teammates.
The Marseille youngster was one of the most creative players in the French top-flight last season, registering nine assists – the same amount as Costa has altogether since arriving in west London two seasons ago.
In terms of Ligue 1 strikers, only Zlatan Ibrahimovic boasted a greater combined tally of goals and assists than Batshuayi during the 2015-16 campaign.
With statistics like these, Eden Hazard, Willian, Oscar and Cesc Fabregas will be licking their lips at the prospect of playing alongside Batshuayi in a Chelsea shirt.
It is not clear whether Conte will attempt to stamp his famed 3-5-2 formation on his new team from the outset, but his tactical preferences would be unlikely to dampen the influence of a player as versatile as the young Belgian.
Batshuayi has the perfect combination of finesse and brawn to sniff out and capitalise on goalscoring chances while also participating in intricate linkup play.
Although last season was arguably the first proper showcasing of his ability to act as creator and finisher simultaneously, the 22-year-old is sure to improve even further in both departments over time.
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