Antonio Conte gives Michy Batshuayi almost impossible task
Michy Batshuayi is expected to start for Chelsea tonight (Getty)

Michy Batshuayi must prove he can be better than Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata if he is to play regularly for Chelsea, says Antonio Conte.

The Belgian striker, who has recently recovered from a foot injury, will get a chance tonight when the Blues take on Bournemouth in the League Cup.

Should he be named in the staring XI for the game it will be just his sixth start this term – a situation that has led to speculation he could leave on loan during the January transfer window.

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But Conte says Batshuayi can still become a regular at Stamford Bridge – if he proves himself.

‘Michy is coming from an injury. Don’t forget this. Michy stopped for maybe two weeks, 18 days, and then he needed to work,’ Conte said before tonight’s quarter-final tie.

‘Now I think it’s right for him to start the game against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup. But I repeat: in every game, I have to make the best decision for the team.

Antonio Conte gives Michy Batshuayi almost impossible task
Batshuayi is given praise by Conte after a recent Champions League game (Getty)

‘Against Huddersfield we won 3-1 and I think I made the best decision to start with Hazard, Pedro and Willian. It was the same against Southampton. Every game I’ve played Hazard, Pedro and Willian together, they’ve won. Last season and this season.

‘He has to show me that he’s better than Morata, or than Hazard. It’s very simple.’

Chelsea 2017/18 Fixtures

Bournemouth (H) – Wed Dec 20 (EFL Cup)
Everton (A) – Sat Dec 23
Brighton (H) – Tues Dec 26
Stoke City (H) – Sat Dec 30
Arsenal (A) – Wed Jan 3
Norwich City – FA Cup (A) – Sat Jan 6
Leicester (H) – Sat Jan 13
Brighton (A) – Sat Jan 20

Conte highlighted that Batshuayi has been given far more opportunities this season than last when he started just one Premier League game.

‘Don’t forget that Michy, this season, is playing more than last season. Last season he didn’t play. He didn’t play and I think this season, if you consider his injury for a month, he had his chance.

‘When you are a striker in this crazy market, your valuation is very high only because you are a striker. And then, Michy is a young player. He has to work very hard to improve himself.

Antonio Conte gives Michy Batshuayi almost impossible task
Batshuayi has started twice in the League Cup this season and scored three goals (Getty)

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‘But he’s doing this. I’m happy with his behaviour and his commitment. But I have to make the best decision for the team. Otherwise, when we lose, you say to me: “You are in trouble because you lost”, not because I took this decision or that one.

‘Sometimes I can make the best decision. Sometimes I make a wrong decision. This is part of my job. But there is only one thing that every single player has to consider: my honesty. When I decide about a player, the last part of the body I see is his head.’

MORE: Antonio Conte hails Andreas Christensen as Chelsea’s ‘best surprise’

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