The club that let Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku go have done it again. When Chelsea allowed Michy Batshuayi to come on loan to Dortmund as part of the deal that took Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Arsenal and allowed Olivier Giroud to move across London, they couldn’t have expected it to backfire so spectacularly.
Batshuayi made an immediate impact, scoring twice on his club debut against FC Köln, scoring again on his home debut against Hamburg and adding five more goals to make eight in total since the beginning of his Bundesliga loan period. Defences throughout Germany’s top flight have been scrambling to find a way to stop him, and for Bundesliga betting fans, Batshuayi’s presence in the Dortmund starting line-up is likely to shorten their odds.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s first-choice forwards Álvaro Morata, Willian and Eden Hazard have managed seven goals between them in the time that Batshuayi has been banging in eight for Dortmund, while Giroud has made little impression.
Chelsea’s loss has undoubtedly been Dortmund’s gain. Prior to the Belgian’s arrival at the club, the team was in a rut, and a run of two wins in 13 games had left their Champions League qualification in doubt. However, since that shrewd piece of transfer business, Dortmund have five wins from seven and are closing in on second place in the Bundesliga, just a point behind Schalke with a superior goal difference.
Everyone at the club, from Peter Stöger to teammate Marco Reus, would like him to stay at the end of his loan period, but while Dortmund fans will be hoping that the club can arrange to make Batshuayi’s deal permanent this summer, it may not be that simple. As recently confirmed by Hans-Joachim Watzke, the club were unable to get a permanent clause option inserted into the Belgian’s contract, so as things stand, he will remain a Chelsea player this summer.
With Chelsea’s current forward line failing to deliver, the pressure on manager Antonio Conte to bring him back into the fold will only continue to build. That said, Conte had previously not rated Batshuayi, giving him 32 appearances in 18 months, and using him mainly as an occasional substitute, and Conte himself may be on his way out of Chelsea this summer, particularly if the Londoners fail to finish in the top four.
Given the uncertainty over Chelsea’s plans, it could be that the biggest obstacle to Dortmund signing Batshuayi permanently is the prospect of another major European club making a move for him. His form has grabbed the attention of clubs across the continent, and there are a number of teams to whom the free-scoring striker would appeal.
The good news is that Batshuayi appears to be happy in Germany. With the prospect of Champions League football next season and the chance to be part of something new as Stöger builds a team in his own image, it would make sense for him to stay in Dortmund, and the club must do all they can to make this team his home for the foreseeable future.