By support

22nd Dec, 2016 | 5:53pm

Why Conte should trust Chelsea fringe player v Bournemouth

COMMENT By Dominic Toner

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte should have full faith in striker Michy Batshuayi and start him against Bournemouth.

The Blues are without star striker Diego Costa as he serves a one-game suspension and Batshuayi is the only other senior forward in the squad.

The 23-year-old has had his opportunities limited due to the form of Costa, but should be trusted against Bournemouth.

Chelsea host Eddie Howe’s on Boxing Day and will hope to extend their six-point gap at the top of the Premier League.

Batshuayi is yet to start a match in the Premier League and featured three times in the EFL Cup competition.

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The Belgian international has come off the bench 10 times in the league and shown glimpses of his quality.

His only league goal came in August against Watford as his strike helped spark a late comeback, with Chelsea prevailing 2-1 thanks to an 87th minute Costa goal.

Batshuayi is yet to showcase his talents in England and the Bournemouth game will be a perfect opportunity.

The forward has shown he can be prolific in front of goal, scoring 33 times in 78 appearances for his former club Marseille.

A few Chelsea supporters have compared his style to club legend Didier Drogba and he will hope to put in some powerful performances that emulate the Ivory Coast icon.

Conte should feel confident in unleashing Batshuayi on the Premier League and he should be able to justify the £33million that was paid for him in the summer transfer window.

The striker will be helped by some creative attackers around him, who are likely to set him up on a plate.

In other Chelsea news, there are three reasons why the club should recall this in-form 21-year-old.