Antonio Conte admits Michy Batshuayi has struggled to adapt to the physical side of the Premier League.
The Belgian has barely featured for Chelsea this term after arriving from Marseille last summer.
He is set for his first Premier League start against Bournemouth on Boxing Day with Diego Costa suspended.
Conte believes Batshuayi can kick on in the new year after enduring a tough introduction to English football.
“Michy is working very well, we must have patience with him, to help him,” he said.
“I spoke about Michy after Palace, and I said that it’s not easy to arrive in this league, to play in this league if you are a young player
“You are arriving in a new country, it’s difficult, especially for a young player to adapt because this league is very tough. This league is very physical, very strong.
“The next step is to play more this season.”
Batshuayi has been linked with a loan move to West Ham, with Slaven Bilic desperate to add to his attacking options.
But Antonio Conte has no plans to let the striker go and wants him to battle for a starting spot with Costa.