Eyebrows were certainly raised when Calciomercato broke the news in early November that Fulham had made an enquiry about signing Tiemoue Bakayoko on loan from West London neighbours Chelsea.
Bakayoko was an unmitigated disaster in his debut Premier League season with the Blues, making a mockery of his £40 million transfer fee, as reported by the BBC. And the French midfielder had hardly enjoyed a sparkling start to life on loan at Serie A giants AC Milan either.
That was then, however. And things have certainly changed in the four weeks since.
Out of nowhere, Bakayoko has suddenly established himself as one of the first names on Genaro Gattuso’s Milan team-sheet, stepping up in stunning fashion in the injury enforced absence of Lucas Biglia.
And, speaking to RMC Sports, Gattuso has gone as far as to compare Bakayoko with the legendary Frenchman Marcel Desailly, the former Milan and Chelsea ace who counts the World Cup, Champions League and Serie A title among his list of honours.
"For me, the biggest surprise is to see Bakayoko play like he does right now," said Gattuso.
"(This is) something I could not even imagine. It was hard to believe that he was able to progress in so many areas in such a short time.
“Today, it looks like he's playing like Desailly. I see a player with the same characteristics. Maybe "Baka" is even better technically.”
High praise, then, for a man who would suddenly look like a massive coup for a Fulham side who are still stuck down the bottom of the Premier League table.
But according to Calciomercato, Milan are now desperate to take up their chance to sign Bakayoko on a permanent basis, though it is understood that they want a discount on his £30 million price-tag.
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