Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has warned Michy Batshuayi that he may need to find ‘a solution’ to his lack of playing time at Chelsea, suggesting his place in the international side is in jeopardy if things don’t change.
The 26-year-old moved to Stamford Bridge three years ago from Marseille, but hasn’t been able to command a regular place in the side under managers Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri or Frank Lampard.
Instead, he’s been farmed out to Borussia Dortmund, Valencia and Crystal Palace on loan, where he’s had mixed fortunes. This season, though, Batshuayi has remained on the books at Chelsea, where he’s had a watching brief from the substitutes bench for most of the season.
In stark contrast to his domestic fortunes, Batshuayi has shone on the international stage for Belgium – but Martinez, speaking in quotes relayed by Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, admits that he may need to consider his future at the club, if things don’t change.
“He doesn’t play enough at Chelsea. I think that’s a shame, even though he scores a lot with the national team,” Martinez said.
“I hope he will play more, because we really need him…But then he has to play. Otherwise a solution must be found.”
The former Everton and Wigan boss didn’t specifically mention the need for Batshuayi to leave Chelsea in order to aid his international career – but it’s likely his comments are a prompt for the Standard Liege academy graduate to consider moving on to pastures new.
He has been linked with a return to Crystal Palace recently, with the Eagles struggling in front of goal since his departure, and may jump at the chance to return to south London. Batshuayi featured more prominently under Eagles boss Roy Hodgson, scoring six times in 13 appearances last season.
He has 18 months left on his current deal in west London, meaning Chelsea may well be interested in cashing in, rather than risk losing Batshuayi on a free transfer in the summer of 2021.