Michy Batshuayi is determined to stay and fight for his place at Chelsea, according to the Evening Standard. The Belgian international staked his claim for a place by scoring a brace in the Under 23s 3-0 win over Liverpool on Monday night.
Manager Frank Lampard is in search of goals following the lack of cutting edge that the Blues showed against Leicester last weekend, so would Batshuayi be the answer? Let’s look at the statistics:
Compared to Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham since the start of last season, Batshuayi’s conversion rate doesn’t really stack up. From the 65 shots he took last campaign, he scored nine. That is a conversion rate of just 13.8%.
With Abraham’s at an impressive 23% and Giroud’s at 16.5%, you can see clearly that the Belgian attempts more shots on goal before hitting the back of the net.
It doesn’t necessarily mean Batshuayi is a bad finisher, though. His expected goals (xG) figure for the last year is 8.3 and considering he scored nine in total, it suggests he is scoring consistently if he gets decent chances.
The problem is, he appears to have poor judgement as to when to make shots on goal. In addition to his poor conversion rate, his shot accuracy does not compare favourably to his teammates.
Only 35% of his shots hit the target, and when you contrast that with Abraham (51%) and Giroud (45%), you can see the huge gulf in terms of shooting. Partly that can be explained by Batshuayi’s apparent shoot on sight policy and fans will have to make their own judgement over whether that’s a good thing or not.
You also have to consider whether finishing is the only quality you need in a striker. Build-up play is a crucial part of the game, and Batshuayi does seem to dip out of matches when he is not in front of goal.
Out of the three, he makes the lowest number of key passes per 90 minutes (0.17) and is expected assists (xA) per 90 minutes is also very poor (0.04). He does have more touches in the box (3.46 per 90) than Abraham (3.39) but only marginally.
Batshuayi is a goal poacher in the truest sense of the word, but as you can see, there is nothing to suggest that he will be more clinical than either Giroud or Abraham. There would be no harm in Lampard giving him a chance to impress but supporters should not be expecting miracles in terms of more goals being scored.