Tiemoue Bakayoko’s performance in the 3-1 win over Huddersfield was his best for Chelsea and shows he understands what is required to play in the Premier League, boss Antonio Conte said.
The French midfielder has been widely criticised in recent weeks and was taken off at half-time in the 1-0 defeat against West Ham.
But the 23-year-old impressed against the Terriers, scoring a fine opening goal and forming a formidable central midfield pairing with N’Golo Kante.
Conte said: “Bakayoko played a really good game and I am very happy for him. We are talking about a player who is 23 years old. He is adapting himself in our idea of football.
“Maybe I saw the best performance from Baka and I started to see what I ask and what I want – to find the right passing between the line, to change side, to be solid and to be focused for the whole game.”
Conte once again insisted that the decision to take the summer signing off at half-time against the Hammers was purely tactical.
“If I don’t trust him he doesn’t start,” the Italian added. “Instead in an important game – a big game after a defeat with a lot of problems, to start him it means I trust him.
“I am very pleased for him and for sure this type of performance improved his confidence. I am not worried about Baka.
“He is a young player but now he is starting to understand that he is in a club like Chelsea, a great club.
“He is showing me to have the right desire and right will to improve himself and try to be better.”