Tiemoue Bakayoko was happy with his Premier League debut against Tottenham Hotspur but insists he will need time to get used to the pace and physicality of the Premier League.
Bakayoko had a happy start to his Chelsea career as The Blues ran out 2-1 winners against The Lillywhites at Wembley courtesy of a brace from Marcos Alonso.
Manager Antonio Conte decided to rush Bakayoko back into the scheme of things despite the fact that the Frenchman just returned from a lengthy injury lay-off, primarily due to the lack of midfield options the Italian had at his disposal.
The 23-year-old who joined for a fee of £40 million from AS Monaco this summer as a replacement for Nemanja Matic had mixed feelings about his first outing for the club but insisted that he will be better once he gets used to the pace and rhythm of the Premier League.
Speaking to SFR Sport, Bakayoko said: “Yeah, I held on. Of course, it wasn’t easy, I needed to get the rhythm. The Premier League is so different from Ligue 1.
“I got to see it from the first minutes. So I needed to be ready. In general, I’m a little bit mixed about my game. I had some good moments, but some bad moments too.
“Like I said, I need to get the rhythm. It was first match since the injury so, it will come, but I’m happy overall.”
When then asked about his Chelsea debut, the 23-year-old said: “It was something special. It was my first match coming back from my injury.
“Since I signed, I was looking forward to wearing that shirt. That’s done now, I’m really happy and we won too so it was a very good day.
“I’m happy for the team, we get our first three points so it’s great for the future.”
“I didn’t expect to play 90 minutes on the pitch.”
Chelsea great Pat Nevin believes that Bakayoko’s signing will prove to be a great piece of business by Conte.
He told the club’s website: “Nemanja Matic has gone and has made a fine start at United, so well done him. He did a great job for this club and we are grateful for that.
“Many were quick to suggest it was a mistake to let him go, but if Tiemoue is as good, he is also crucially six years younger and that counts for a great deal when you are building a squad.
“His energy levels on the day were bordering on superhuman considering the lack of training and match fitness.
“You can only guess at what else he will have to offer in the future when you see him striding away from top players who are many weeks, or even months, ahead of him in their season’s fitness regimes.”
Bakayoko’s return bodes well for the Londoners as they prepare for their next game against a strong Everton side who held Manchester City to a draw in their second game. It will be interesting to see if Conte changes things with Cesc Fabregas and Pedro back in contention.