Batshuayi's loan move from Chelsea to Palace makes perfect sense

Batshuayi's loan move from Chelsea to Palace makes perfect sense

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And at Palace it all seems to make sense. From that previous loan spell not much has changed from Roy Hodgson still being manager to Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Zaha still occupying positions in an attack which Batshuayi fitted in so well.

Frank Lampard gave him chances last season and Batshuayi delivered six goals but with only two of them coming in the top flight and Champions League he’s never been fully trusted to feature on a regular basis.

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Steve Evans would not even give him a place on the bench. Bielsa simply couldn’t fathom why the player was playing in the forward line and not shielding defence. The quality and speed of his distribution on Saturday night suggests he will be another fine addition to this division.

Michy Batshuayi’s return to Crystal Palace suits every party.

For Chelsea, who have renewed Batshuayi’s contract for one more year until 2022, they protect an asset which could be worth much more with a full season of Premier League football under his belt.

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Last season Palace’s biggest weakness was the number of goals they scored. Only Norwich, who finished bottom, scored fewer (26) than Palace’s 31.

A 14th-placed finish was largely down to Palace’s strong defensive record.

Very early days, of course. Time will tell if the testimonies to Harrison’s abilities provided by David Villa and Andrea Pirlo, no less, when they encountered him in New York should have told City and Pep Guardiola to give the 23-year-old a run. But he had done enough by the end to remind us of Marcelo Bielsa’s love of a lost cause.

Harrison would have repeated the feat on the hour had he only timed his run onto a long ball fractionally later. The ball was bundled in but he’d been offside. A difficult night for Alexander-Arnold, embarrassed by the long ball again.

It is worth assessing how it has got to this point where the Belgium striker, who continues to flourish for his country as seen on Tuesday night when he scored twice in the 5-1 win over Iceland, has fallen so out of favour at Stamford Bridge.

For someone who has become one of Chelsea’s forgotten men in recent years it’s perhaps important to note it was the Belgium striker who came on against West Brom when the score was 0-0 with the Premier League title still to be clinched.

Immediate proof that Bielsa – a coach so obsessed with the technical detail that he ones drew on a player’s boot the place he wanted the ball despatched from – can transcend the lunatic economics of football where players are dropped at a whim and prove that coaching counts. The boys in the old Liverpool Bootroom would certainly have appreciated that.

Leeds commanded more possession than Liverpool on Saturday night. No-one has left Anfield with that statistic in the past few years. ‘It’s just uncomfortable,’ Jurgen Klopp admitted afterwards. ‘They kill you in a football way. They just don’t stop.’