When a striker scores 21 goals in a season and wins a big move to one of Europe’s most prestigious clubs, he would expect to find it fairly easy to win a place in their first XI. That has not happened for Michy Batshuayi at Marseille. The striker has only played 111 minutes this season and a January loan move may be on the cards. Batshuayi could be the Belgian striker that Liverpool sign this winter.
Divock Origi was the surprise inclusion in Belgium’s World Cup squad this year, it was expected, after his superb season for Standard Liege, that Batshuayi would be the man to replace Christian Benteke in Marc Wilmots' squad.
Origi got the nod and with his performances sealed a transfer to Liverpool. The failings of Mario Balotelli have led to suggestions that Brendan Rodgers would try and arrange a move to see Origi return to the club in January, but Lille boss René Girard has ruled out that possibility.
Marseille coach Marcelo Bielsa, in an early season rant, made it clear that none of OM’s summer signings were made with his approval and that is clear from the amount of minutes Batshuayi has received after 12 weeks in Ligue 1.
It is easy to see why he hasn’t started every game, Andre-Pierre Gignac has scored 11 goals in 12 games, but his performances have not been without quiet periods. Despite being fit to play, Batshuayi hasn’t played since he was given 28 minutes in the 5-0 win against Reims. The game was over and there was little chance for the striker to make an impact.
The Belgian has been a target for Arsenal in the past, but he could be the perfect short-term option for Liverpool. Marseille won’t want to sell the striker they only bought for €6 million in June, but for every month he doesn’t play, he loses value. If Bielsa doesn’t want him, he could be sold in the summer, playing in England would help boost his worth.
When he was linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer, Batshuayi was mature in his response to the rumours:
"There is a good philosophy at that club [Arsenal] and there is confidence in young players in a technically strong team that cares about football. I've loved the club from childhood," he told Belgian television show 'La Tribune'.
"I am a person with vision, I want [to move] ahead as quickly as possible. I'm going to make a decision in consultation with my agents and my family but, at this moment, I have signed nothing."
This is not the mentality of a player that is going to be happy to sit on the bench. There is little doubt he would be keen to get back to scoring goals regularly and that is something that this current Liverpool side desperately needs.
Origi may not return until the summer, but his international teammate would be the perfect player to keep that seat warm for him this winter. Loaning Batshuayi to England for the rest of the season would suit Marseille and could help make a profit on a player that Bielsa doesn’t seem keen to call upon.