The France midfielder made his Blues debut in the Wembley win over Tottenham after undergoing knee surgery in May
New Chelsea star Tiemoue Bakayoko has revealed he won Ligue 1 last season with Monacoplaying through the pain barrier with a knee injury.
The France midfielder made his Blues debut in the Wembley win over Tottenham after undergoing knee surgery in May.
And the £40million signing said he first suffered the meniscus injury to his right knee in October 2015 before his rapid rise to the top of the game.
He told L’Equipe : “I first suffered it two years ago with the Under 21s. It was more or less okay but last season, after pre-season, I started to feel pain. It worsened steadily then it was aggravated so much that I suffered a crack in the meniscus. I tried to get through the whole of the season.
“It was always there a bit. From the match against PSG, last August, I felt it, People don’t know but throughout the whole of last season I suffered because of my knee. I really had to grit my teeth in every match. It was difficult.”
Babayoko, who made his France debut in March after turning down the Ivory Coast, added: “I couldn’t wait to play my first match. When you know you have been bought for €45m, and you arrive with an injury and you are not totally recovered, you have this sensation that you are no use because you cost a lot.
“You want to help your team. And then, in pre-season, we conceded a lot of goals. You also heard everywhere that Chelsea’s transfer business had not been a success.”
“All that gives you the determination to get back on the pitch.
“And when I played, it did me a lot of good. I am happy with my performance. I was expecting to be subbed but no, I played till the end. The first half was difficult, it went quick. It was box to box, which is nothing like Ligue 1. The first minutes were complicated, in a position where I am not used to playing.
“But at the end, I was happy because we won even if it was very difficult. And I refound my feeling for the game on a beautiful stage (Wembley) against who are surely the best team in the Premier League for the last year or two behind Chelsea.
“Matic has left, Fabregas was suspended. I had to play a bit earlier than planned but I am happy. I reckon I am at 80 per cent.”