By Russell Edge
Chelsea midfield star Tiemoue Bakayoko has admitted that he feels the club are bigger rivals with Tottenham than with Arsenal.
While all three are based in London, there has been a traditional rivalry between the Blues and the Gunners throughout the years, with the two clubs having been embroiled in battles for the Premier League and FA Cup since the turn of the millennium.
However, French international Bakayoko believes that the tides have turned, with Tottenham, who finished as runners up to Chelsea in the Premier League title race last season, considered as the bigger adversary by the summer signing.
It was against Spurs that the 23-year-old made his competitive debut for his new side, following a big money move from French club Monaco, as he helped them secure a 2-1 victory away at Wembley.
The midfield enforcer told the Blues’ official website: “I think that actually in terms of rivalries that Chelsea have, the one with Tottenham is perhaps even bigger than Arsenal.
“Having already played that match, being able to win that match, being able to bring so much happiness to our fans was really a wonderful achievement.”
The Chelsea star’s claim may come as a surprise to fans considering the recent history between the trio, although Arsenal’s lack of showing in the hunt for the Premier League title in recent seasons may have had an effect.
Meanwhile a 2012 study by football website thedaisycutter.co.uk showed that Chelsea fans identified Spurs as their main rivals, while the Blues were second only to Arsenal on Tottenham fans’ list.
In other Tottenham news, the club are eyeing a swoop for an international playmaker currently with a giant European side.