Just over a month ago the Tiémoué Bakayoko experiment was considered a failure. With reports suggesting Milan were already looking to terminate the Frenchman’s contract, things weren’t looking good for the former Monaco star. After a string of poor performances criticism began flooding in from not only fans but also from the head coach, Genaro Gattuso, who at one point stated “Bakayoko needs to be helped, as he is struggling”. However, as of late, Bakayoko’s performances have drastically improved.
With long-term injuries to key midfielders, Lucas Biglia and Giacomo Bonaventura, Bakayoko has been forced to step up in their absence. After his early season woes, nothing much was expected from the Chelsea loanee, which only added to the surprise turn around in form Milan fans have been treated to. Already receiving three-man of the match awards, Bakayoko has become a staple in Milan’s recent success, which has seen them return to the top four. Furthermore, it seems as though the former Ligue 1 champion has regained much of that confidence which helped Monaco win the aforementioned league just two years ago. Despite his recent success, Milan’s three-time man of the match winner, still has much to prove in order to justify his hefty transfer fee of 35 million euros. However, if this last month has been any indication of what to expect, Bakayoko’s numbers are already showing his importance among the team, especially on the defensive end.
Over the last 4 Serie A games Bakayoko has won an average of 4 aerial duels, 3.25 tackles and 3 clearances per game, along with a whoscored.com rating of 7.57. With such commanding statistics alongside his name a short-term position has been solidified in the squad, and provided the team with defensive cohesion throughout the midfield.
For Bakayoko the test now becomes whether or not he can maintain this standard for the remainder of what is shaping up to be a long season for the Rossoneri. Milanisti will be rooting for the Frenchman to continue his impressive run of form as his productivity has greatly improved the squad and its chances for success this season.