Gattuso admits Chelsea loanee Bakayoko must improve

Tiemoue Bakayoko could be in line for an early return to Chelsea after a poor start to his loan spell with AC Milan

AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso has opened up on Tiemoue Bakayoko’s difficult start to the season, amid reports the Chelsea midfielder could have his season-long loan deal with the Serie A side cut short.

The 24-year-old was shipped out on loan by the Blues in the summer after an underwhelming first season in the Premier League following his big money arrival from Monaco.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri, who arrived at Stamford Bridge in July, replaced Bakayoko by bringing in Jorginho from former side Napoli, whilst he also secured a loan deal for Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

Bakayoko’s misery has continued, with the Frenchman yet to start a league game for the Rossoneri this season.

Gattuso has admitted that the midfielder is struggling from a lack of confidence and has also hinted that he’d have preferred to see his side add a more experienced midfielder to their squad in the summer.

“Bakayoko has to learn how to get the ball,” said Gattuso. 

“We must work correctly. It will not be easy.

“One week is not enough to remove the defects of a player. I would have preferred to be managing older, more experienced club players.”

It is not the first time Gattuso has had to discuss this midfielder as thus far Bakayoko has made only six appearances for Milan, including just two starts, both of which came in the Europa League.

Reports in Italy over the weekend suggested that Gattuso’s side could even be tempted to bring an early end to his loan deal if there is no improvement in his performances.

Article continues below

Big things were expected of the midfielder after he signed for the Blues from Monaco in July 2017.

He signed a five-year contract with the club following a season where he played a crucial part in Monaco’s Ligue 1 winning campaign, with the French side also reaching the Champions League semi-finals in the same season.

Milan have the option to sign Bakayoko on a permanent basis when his loan deal expires, but that appears to be unlikely at this stage.