Nemanja Matic thinks Michy Batshuayi is “ready to take his opportunity” and replace the suspended Diego Costa for Chelsea’s Premier League match against Bournemouth.
Costa received an automatic one-match ban for picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in Saturday’s 1-0 win against Crystal Palace.
The Spain international leads the Premier League scoring charts with 13 goals this season and the Blues are top of the league going into the festive period.
Costa has kept Batshuayi out of the side with a number of impressive performances but the summer signing from Marseille is likely to get his chance against the Cherries on Boxing Day.
“When you have Diego in the team it is very hard to get a chance because he is playing so well and scoring goals, but I’m sure Michy is ready to take his opportunity because he is working hard every day,” Matic told the London Evening Standard. “He is a good man.
“We won’t have Diego against Bournemouth but I hope Michy will be the man to decide the game. If he does that it will be good for us. He is a great striker, for sure, that is why Chelsea bought him. I’m sure if he gets a chance to score in the next game, he’ll take it.”
Matic reckons having competition from one of the best strikers in the world will benefit Batshuayi in the long run.
“Of course he has benefited from working with Costa,” Matic added. “It was the same with me seven years ago [in Matic’s first spell at Chelsea]. It was very good for me to see how Frank Lampard played, how Michael Ballack played and Michael Essien.
“So it is good for Michy and a good experience for him to see Diego’s movement. He will have learned from watching and playing with Diego [in training].”