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Premier League or Champions League? Chelsea star Bakayoko makes his choice

14:32 SAST 2017/09/12
Tiemoue Bakayoko Chelsea
The £40 million summer signing says he would rather help the Blues to conquer Europe in his debut campaign than retain their domestic title

Tiemoue Bakayoko says he would rather help Chelsea to Champions League glory this season than defend their Premier League title.

The Blues are back among Europe’s elite after recapturing the English top-flight crown in 2016-17.

Antonio Conte’s side will open their group stage campaign against Qarabag on Tuesday, with the Azerbaijani underdogs paying a visit to Stamford Bridge.

Bakayoko 15/4 with dabblebet to score

Bakayoko is hoping that contest will represent the first step in a trophy-winning quest for Chelsea, with the £40 million summer signing prepared to favour continental competition over domestic endeavours.

Pressed to pick between success at home or abroad, the 23-year-old midfielder told the Evening Standard: “I would choose the Champions League because it is an exceptionally difficult competition.

“It’s not easy to win, so you should always grasp the chance to win it.

"For the Premier League, you always have the opportunity to win when you play for a club like Chelsea. So, if I have to choose between the two, it would be the Champions League.

"The Champions League has a different feeling to it, compared to other competitions. It is the number one competition in the world. It’s always been my dream to play in the Champions League and win it.

"I am really determined to start the competition with Chelsea. Since I was young, I have had a good career and I gained a lot of experience last season.

"Chelsea is a great club, they always want to win trophies. So, it is certainly very important for me give my best for the club.

"The Champions League puts the pressure on us, especially when playing for a very big club like Chelsea.

“Chelsea want to win so we want that atmosphere and that pressure."

Bakayoko helped Monaco to reach the semi-final stage of the Champions League in 2016-17, with his efforts in that campaign – and a Ligue 1 title triumph – helping to convince Chelsea that he was worthy of a big-money summer transfer.