Former Newcastle defender Philippe Albert has criticised his countryman Michy Batshuayi, suggesting the striker’s selfish streak infuriates his Belgium teammates.
The 27-year-old striker moved to Stamford Bridge from Marseille in 2016. He scored 25 goals across 77 appearances for the Blues. But Batshuayi has regularly spent time away from the club, having been loaned to Borussia Dortmund and Valencia before two spells at Crystal Palace.
The Belgium international will now spend the 2021-22 campaign with Turkish giants Besiktas after extending his Chelsea deal until 2023.
However, he seems highly unlikely to get the chance to impress at Stamford Bridge. That’s after a string of managers – with the latest being Thomas Tuchel – all dismissing his abilities.
Batshuayi was given a rare chance to prove his worth on Wednesday evening for Belgium. The attacker was given the nod after his teammate Romelu Lukaku missed the game through suspension.
The Red Devils recorded a 1-0 win in the game, a World Cup qualifier against Belarus. However, it was on-loan Leicester man Dennis Praet who provided the decisive goal.
Indeed, Batshuayi struggled to impact the game the way Lukaku does. And while his own man, Albert – himself a former Belgium player – has given an insight into his shortcomings.
“The new Besiktas striker is of good will but he often irritates his teammates by not understanding the others, which makes them all play less well,” Albert is quoted by Foot Mercato.
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“And his obsession with increasing his crazy stats (22 goals in 37 caps) in the national team hurts the fluidity of the Belgian game. Hopefully his season in Turkey will do him some good because we might have a real problem.
“Given his mind-blowing personal stats for the national team, Batshuayi is always a highly anticipated forward when he steps up for the game. Against Belarus, it was more difficult than expected, despite a cancelled goal and two clear chances.”
Batshuayi told to rebuild confidence
Albert insists hope remains for Batshuayi and believes he has the talent to make improvements.
And he has told the former Marseille man to use his time in Turkey to boost his clearly-flagging confidence.
“He must rebuild his confidence in Turkey,” Albert added.
“He has a golden opportunity to get back on track after five years traveling on the bench. Once he stacks up a few goals on the shores of the Bosphorus, things will be better for him, you’ll see,” he added.
“Hopefully nothing bad happens to him in terms of injuries between now and the Nations League Final Four or the World Cup in Qatar.”