Saturday, 14 October 2017

Antonio Conte Warns Michy Batshuayi That Alvaro Morata Injury Doesn't Mean He Has to Start


Antonio Conte has warned striker Michy Batshuayi that Alvaro Morata's injury layoff doesn't mean that the Belgian will automatically replace him.

The Italian has chosen to snub the £33m forward in the past when his leading man is injured, choosing to play with no recognised striker and a handful of more withdrawn forwards all darting into attack together.

Speaking in his ​pre-match press conference, Conte admitted: “If you compare Michy with last season he has improved a lot. Last season he had few opportunities to play but this season he is playing a lot and the most important thing is to show he is improving because also don’t forget as a striker I can utilise Hazard.

“Last season we played two games with Hazard as a No.9, with Willian and Pedro. If I see a game where this is the solution I am ready to do that again but Michy is deserving to have opportunities to show he can play.”

Conte also discussed injuries to N'Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater, admitting: “It is a big loss and a big problem.  We have Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko and then young players Kyle Scott and Ethan Ampadu but we must be ready to approach these seven games [before the next international break], find different solutions and to decide.

“It will be very difficult to play with Fabregas and Bakayoko for seven games in a row and also we have to hope no injuries in these games. We are talking also to adapt a player. I don’t want to change a lot because you try and find a solution and you can lose something with the defence but if there is the necessity I am ready to do this.”

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