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Antonio Conte - Michy Batshuayi must earn starting role

Antonio Conte - Michy Batshuayi must earn starting role

Antonio Conte has told Michy Batshuayi that he must prove he is the best striker at Chelsea if he wants to earn a regular start.

The Belgium international has struggled for first-team opportunities since arriving at Stamford Bridge from Marseille during the summer of 2016 and has started just three Premier League matches across 18 months with the club.

The 24-year-old had hoped to receive an opportunity following Alvaro Morata's recent fitness problems, but Conte instead opted to play Eden Hazard in a 'false nine' position during the matches against Huddersfield and Southampton.

The Italian was vindicated in his decision as Chelsea won both those games and has now told Batshuayi that he must prove he is better than the other attacking options at the club if he wants to feature in the first team more regularly.

"He has to show me that he's better than Morata, or than Hazard," Conte said. "It's very simple. "But don't forget that Michy, this season, is playing more than last season. Last season he didn't play.

Conte did confirm that Batshuayi is likely to get a rare start in a Chelsea shirt when the Blues play host to Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.

"Now I think it's right for him to start the game against Bournemouth," he added. "But I repeat, in every game, I have to make the best decision for the team."

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