Southampton attacking midfielder Sofaine Boufal made a beeline for the dugout to celebrate following his game-winning goal against West Bromwich Albion last weekend.
He used the moment to vent his frustrations with Saints manager Mauricio Pellegrino in front of St Mary’s 32,000 fans, having grown unhappy with his lack of playing time so far this season.
It really makes you wonder what’s going on in Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi’s head right now.
The Belgian took his tally for the season to seven goals in 10 games in Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Watford. Coming off the bench with 29 minutes left to play, the self-declared “Batman” turned what was a likely defeat into an entirely convincing win.
His headed leveller left Chelsea fans recalling memories of club legend Didier Drogba in his prime.
So it seems, he isn’t too far off of that level.
His tally places him among the very best strikers in Europe. He has four more goals than Barcelona’s Luis Suarez so far this season. He’s level with FIFA Player of the Year winner Cristiano Ronaldo and has one less than Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero.
Impressively, Batshuayi’s seven goals have come in just 447 minutes of football, or approximately five matches. That’s a goal every 64 minutes.
Sure, he makes mistakes, but the numbers speak for themselves. It does make you question why Chelsea boss Antonio Conte doesn’t have more faith in him.
A valuable asset?
Many felt that Chelsea overpaid for the striker when they agreed to a £33m deal with Marseille last summer. Meanwhile, £58m Alvaro Morata had been branded a bargain.
However, when you look at the amount of goals and assists that the two players have supplied so far, Batshuayi has proven himself to be the superior goalscorer.
Morata has provided seven goals and two assists in 11 games. That’s a goal every 106 minutes and an assist every 371 minutes. In comparison, since joining the club, Batshuayi has 18 goals and three assists in 1239. In other words, he scores every 69 minutes and provides an assist every 413.
Of course, Morata will likely improve as he beds into the Chelsea camp. However, playing down Batshuayi’s contribution is nothing short of ludicrous.
His brace at the weekend single-handedly snatched two extra points for Chelsea. Those goals were just the latest in a growing list of gamechanging strikes.
Chelsea fans will remember fondly his last-gasp winner against West Brom last season that clinched the club’s fifth Premier League title. He also grabbed vital goals in both games against Watford, effectively handing Chelsea nine points that provided them the edge over second-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
Similarly, he got the winner against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last month, which could prove vital as Chelsea look to escape from a tough group.
Despite lacking the consistency to produce the goods week in, week out, nobody can question that Batshuayi does his part for the club.
Michy Batshuayi: the ultimate super sub
Batshuayi has proved that he can cut it at the highest level. However, it doesn’t take an expert to see that his best performances come from the bench.
The Belgian goalscorer has started just 12 matches for Chelsea since joining the club back in 2016. Aside from top performances against lesser opposition, such as Nottingham Forest, Bristol Rovers, Brentford and Peterborough, starting against worthy opposition has rarely gone to plan for Batshuayi. In the Premier League, he has just one goal in the three games that he has featured in from the start.
His performance against Crystal Palace a few weeks back certainly left a lot to be desired. While his Chelsea teammates offered him little to work with, Batshuayi was singled out for his lazy showing. It was a far cry from his performance against Watford the following week.
Coming off of the bench, particularly in games where Chelsea are in dire need of a goal or two, seems to awaken the lethal striker in Batshuayi. He performed a similar feat on the final day of last season, scoring twice against Sunderland in 28 minutes. He also bagged a goal against West Brom in 14 and another against Watford in 17.
While he may not be the star man up front, or capable of putting in a 90 minute shift, he certainly isn’t the flop signing that he is often made out to be.
In fact, he might be just the man to fill the Drogba-shaped hole that Chelsea have been looking to plug since the Ivorian departed back in 2012. Costa did well enough, but he was never quite able to turn a game around in quite the same way.
When the going gets tough, many players fade away. However, Batshuayi is one player that you can rely on to continue to fight until the final whistle. That’s a trait that will prove extremely valuable to Chelsea over the course of a season, even if it means suffering a few missed sitters along the way.