Tiemoué Bakayoko is carrying a knee problem to Chelsea. It’s difficult to get away from that, especially if he’s limping.
There have been reports, pushed by France Football, that Bakayoko’s knee injury is what has been holding up his transfer to Chelsea, although his side of the deal deny that.
Of course, they’d likely deny it whether true or not, but L’Equipe quote a member of the player’s entourage saying, when asked about the knee delaying a Chelsea transfer: “Absolutely not, nothing to see.”
Well, there’s been a bandage to see on the player’s leg for the second half of the season, so there clearly is an issue, it’s not a case of all the French reporting being imagined.
L’Equipe believe that, whilst Bakayoko is expected to have a Chelsea medical today and then sign a contract with the Premier League champions, the tests will be ‘careful’ with that knee injury in mind.
Bakayoko has been suffering pain in the knee since playing for Monaco against Bastia in February. At the end of May, the Chelsea bound midfielder had an arthroscopic procedure, like keyhole surgery, to cure this persistent pain.
Therefore, French talk of an operation (they actually called it an ‘intervention’) was likely about that procedure, and L’Equipe say there’s a chance Bakayoko could miss some preseason and the start of next season.
Chelsea are eager to get this one over the line, and that could help ease a medical. They want it to be positive, rather than jumping on any potential negative to kill a deal, like Sevilla perhaps did with Jordan Amavi.
Antonio Conte will have to be patient with Bakayoko, but when picking a player who has been carrying an injury for so long, and surely knowing of the procedure in May, it’s hardly something the Chelsea manager can be too frustrated with.