Bakayoko suited to more attacking role – Conte

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte believes giving Tiemoue Bakayoko greater attacking freedom as part of a three-man midfield could be key to getting the best out of him. 

The Frenchman signed in the summer while still injured and missed much of pre-season.

There were some impressive early performances, notably in victories over Tottenham and Leicester City.

But his form and confidence then dipped and he has only made three appearances since being sent off against Watford in early February.

Conte was impressed by the 23-year-old’s display in the 2-1 win over Burnley.

“He is a young player and in this season he has struggled a lot,” Conte said.

“He played very well [against Burnley] with great focus, great concentration and with good quality.

“Maybe when we play with three midfielders it is better for him because he has the possibility to attack the box and fill the box.”

Conte also praised Pedro, who dropped into a deeper role in a system that saw both Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud start up front.

“Don’t forget Pedro’s performance, Conte added. “It was the first time to play as a midfielder.

“He played very well and he showed he can play in this role with great quality and great stamina.”