Antonio Conte has praised Michy Batshuayi's development at Chelsea as he prepares to step in for the injured Alvaro Morata against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Morata suffered a hamstring strain against Manchester City two weeks ago and Batshuayi will likely get the call as his replacement.
Batshuayi has struggled to hold down a starting spot despite his impressive goal record since joining last season. The 24-year-old has a goal every 67.6 minutes, but Conte is most impressed by improvements in his all round game.
“I think if you compare Michy with last season he has improved a lot and he understood this league because it is not simple,” Conte said at a news conference at Cobham Training Centre. “He understood our style of football but he is another young player and he is working very hard to improve.
“This season he is finding many opportunities to play in the Champions League, in the league, to come on during the game, and to start the game. If you remember last season he had few opportunities to play but this season he is playing a lot and the most important thing is to show he is improving.
“Also don't forget as a striker I can utilise Hazard. Last season we played two games with Hazard as a No.9, alongside Willian and Pedro. If I see a game where this is the solution I am ready to do that again but Michy is deserving to have opportunities to show he can play.”
Meanwhile, Conte has been linked with a return to Italy over the international break with speculation rife that he is interested in any upcoming vacancies for jobs such as at the Italian national team, AC Milan or at Internazionale.
Conte refuted these claims and he emphasised that he only wants to return to Italy “one day.” The Blues boss gave further details on how his family is adapting to life in England’s capital city.
“For me to have my family with me is very important," He added. "Last season, honestly, I suffered a lot because when you arrive in a new country and you are alone and know that your family don't stay here, it is not simple.
“This season I am very happy because they are with me, my daughter and wife and for us it is a fantastic experience and I think that this experience for my daughter is an incredible experience and a great gift that I am doing for her.
“Last season was very difficult for my wife because she divided her life between Italy to stay with our daughter and me in London. But now for sure it is great for me and my family and above all for my daughter it is a fantastic experience and also for my wife to live in a new country and learn a new language it is great to live this experience in England is great.
“My work is always the same. It is worse for my family because last season they were very far and instead this season we are together and my wife and my daughter and they live the same feeling, if we win, we draw, we lose and for my family it is different... but I am happy that they stay here with me.
“This season I am driving here [in England] and last season was difficult because when you are alone, there was only the work. Now there is my job and when I go to my house and with my daughter and wife.
“We try also to take the car and visit this area and sometimes to go to London, Kingston or to discover new restaurant. Yesterday with Carlo [Cudicini] we went to a Brazilian restaurant.”
Conte spent his first season with Chelsea living in a hotel near Stamford Bridge but he now has a house with his wife and daughter close to his club’s training ground.