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Chelsea’s Tiemoue Bakayoko lays bare injury woe that saw him play through the pain during Monaco success

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.”

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