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Conte backs Bakayoko to succeed at Stamford Bridge despite difficult first season

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has backed Tiemoue Bakayoko to become an important player for the club despite a difficult first season in English football.

The Frenchman arrived at Chelsea from AS Monaco last summer in a £40 million deal having just helped Les Monégasques to an unlikely Ligue 1 title.

However since arriving at Stamford Bridge, the 23-year-old has failed to replicate the kind of form he did for his old club, falling in and out of Chelsea’s starting line-up throughout the season.

Bakayoko returned to Conte’s starting XI for Chelsea’s clash with Liverpool two weeks ago however, putting in a solid display in the centre of the park as the Blues came out 1-0 winners over Jurgen Klopp’s side.

And following his impressive display, Conte has backed the France international to become one of the club’s key players in the seasons to come.

“I always say that we are talking about a young player,” Conte told reporter on Tuesday. “This is his first season in this country.

“As you know, to arrive and adapt yourself quickly in this league isn’t simple. It’s not simple to get into our football.

“He has the right characteristics to play for Chelsea. I trust him. He played a good game against Liverpool.

“I know him and for sure he has a lot of space for improvement, but I repeat, he’s a young player with not a great many seasons in his past. He played only one season with Monaco last season.”