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Tiemoué Bakayoko: a deft midfield monster who could become a superstar at Chelsea

Bakayoko made an inauspicious start at Monaco but, helped by Claude Makelele, he has developed into a player of spectacular potential

There was a period not so long ago when Chelsea could have looked at Monaco’s midfield and congratulated themselves on their foresight, since Tiemoué Bakayoko was being kept out of the French club’s starting line-up by another youngster who was on Chelsea’s books and still is.

Mario Pasalic, a Germany-born Croatia international six months older than Bakayoko, has belonged to Chelsea since joining from Hajduk Split three years ago but has yet to contest a single game for them. Instead, like most of the speculative investments in Chelsea’s vast player portfolio, he has been rented out to others via a series of loan moves, including one the season before last to Monaco, where for the first several months of the campaign he was regularly chosen ahead of the player on whom Chelsea have just splurged a fee that could rise to £39.7m.

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