Michy Batshuayi has hit out at his former boss Antonio Conte, claiming the Italian ‘fooled’ him when the pair were at Chelsea.
Batshuayi was one of Conte’s first signings when he arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2016 as the Blues splashed out £33m on the Belgian striker.
However, the forward quickly found himself behind Diego Costa and then Alvaro Morata in the pecking order, and was limited to just 32 league appearances in his two seasons under Conte. Batshuayi has stated that he was made to believe he was going to be a major part of Conte’s plans when he signed, but feels the manager was not completely honest with him.
‘Conte was constantly contradicting himself,’ Batshuayi told SPORT.
‘To start with my arrival. He called me and explained his project. He wanted me to play in a two-man frontline alongside Diego Costa.
‘Did I believe that? Of course, because Conte has played with two attackers all his career. Except at Chelsea with me. I do not understand. The truth is that I have been fooled far too often.’
Batshuayi’s frustration is understandable given that Conte had plenty of success using a 3-5-2 formation prior to joining Chelsea, winning three league titles at Juventus and leading Italy to the quarter-finals of the European Championships.
However, he moved to a 3-4-3 system at Chelsea which did not suit Batshuayi, although it worked well for the west London club as they won the league in Conte’s first season in the dugout.
Conte would revert back to 3-5-2 when he returned to Italy to manage Inter Milan, but he is now working in the Premier League again with Tottenham, and has largely gone with a 3-4-3 during his first year in charge.
Meanwhile, Batshuayi was sent out on loan to Borussia Dortmund in the same summer that Conte left Chelsea in 2018, and would go on to have subsequent temporary spells at Valencia, Crystal Palace and Besiktas.
He finally left the Blues on a permanent basis to join Fenerbahce earlier this month, having racked up just 77 appearances in his six years at Chelsea.
The 28-year-old scored on his debut for the Turkish side against Dynamo Kyiv in the Europa League, and has now set his sights on making Belgium’s World Cup squad later this year.