Somewhat ridiculed at Chelsea for some of his performances, Tiemoué Bakayoko left Stamford Bridge in the summer just a year after arriving from Monaco, albeit just on loan.
Struggling at first in Milan, the defensive midfielder has turned his season around, to the point where the Serie A side are desperate to make his deal permanent, trying to find ways to make up the €35m they will need to give Chelsea to get what they want.
The player himself has also stated he’d quite like to stay in Italy beyond this season, although he is very aware of the situation and that he is technically still contracted to Chelsea.
That being said, Bakayoko knows he probably isn’t the most welcome back at Stamford Bridge, as he explained to France Football what happened last summer for him to end up leaving so soon after his arrival.
He said: “I think it came from above. The club weren’t doing well, wanted change, and I was a part of it. Sarri arrived, and he was told that’s how things were. He also brought in his midfielder, Jorginho. A second season at Chelsea could have allowed me to settle, but I felt the need to leave.
“It was an important career choice because I’m already on my fourth club. That’s a lot for a 24-year-old. Leonardo is the one who contacted me. If I had to leave, it was for Milan because that club made me dream when I was a kid. I really am grateful for the chance they have given me”.
As for what his future holds, Bakayoko admits it’s a ‘complete blur’ and ‘can’t clear his head’.
His first goal, however, is to get Milan back in the Champions League, and then: “I want to be there the next time the hymn is played at San Siro. It’s like the carrot and the stick. We’ll see at the end of the season”.
After all, he still has his Chelsea contract, and a lot of things can happen between now and June.