When Antonio Conte decided to replace Michy Batshuayi with Olivier Giroud on transfer deadline day, it was viewed as a wise move.
Batshuayi, the Belgium forward, had never really come to life since his move to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2016, and Giroud was considered a better fit for Chelsea’s squad.
To complete the signing of Giroud, Batshuayi had to join Borussia Dortmund on a loan deal until the end of the season, as the Bundesliga club had sold Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Arsenal – the club from whom Chelsea bought Giroud.
Since the moves were completed on Wednesday, January 31, Chelsea have scored four goals in three games.
Batshuayi has scored five.
They lost the first two of those matches by a combined score of 7-1, but recovered to defeat the Baggies 3-0 despite putting in a rather lacklustre performance.
The two forwards in Conte’s squad, Alvaro Morata and Giroud, have not scored in any of those fixtures.
Chelsea’s soulless showings could not be more antithetical to the performances Batshuayi has put in since he left west London for North Rhine-Westphalia.
The 24-year-old has netted in all three of his matches for BVB, grabbing a brace on his debut against Koln, a lone strike in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Hamburg, and then another brace in Dortmund’s Europa League victory over Atalanta on Thursday.
Batshuayi looks a threat to defences and is excelling with his hold-up play – a part of his game that was so often criticised by Conte
He is effervescent once again, and Chelsea’s decision to dismiss Batshuayi in January is starting to look more foolish with every passing match.