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Conte hails “fantastic” Chelsea back-up striker Batshuayi as he bids to fill Costa void

Date Posted,December 25, 2016

Antonio Conte has praised his “fantastic” striker Michy Batshuayi – even though he has yet to start a Premier League match since a £33million summer move.

The Belgium striker could finally get his chance against Bournemouth on Boxing Day, with top scorer Diego Costa suspended.

But it is a bizarre situation as former Marseille man Batshuayi has been left frustrated without a look-in, and that has alerted the likes of West Ham who tried to sign him last summer.

Chelsea boss Conte has admitted the 23-year-old’s all-round game still needs work but praised his efforts.

Batshuayi has had to make do with cameos off the bench (Photo: Darren Walsh)

Conte said: “Michy’s attitude, his ­behaviour, have been fantastic. He wants to improve his quality. Technical quality, physical quality.

“We are working a lot with him on tactical aspects.

“But he’s showing great commitment, great work-rate during the training sessions, great passion. For sure, he wants to play and it’s not easy when you have Costa in front of you.

“Above all this, Diego is playing fantastic football and scoring a lot of goals. But I repeat: it’s important for Michy to continue to work, to continue to improve. I’m sure his moment will arrive.”

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