Michy Batshuayi has returned to Crystal Palace on loan after signing a one-year contract extension with Chelsea.
The 26-year-old’s existing Chelsea deal was set to expire next summer but the additional 12 months will now ensure he does not become a free agent once his loan expires.
Palace have an option to buy the player at the end of the loan deal but they are not obliged to.
Michy Batshuayi has returned to Crystal Palace on loan after signing a contract extension
Batshuayi spent half-a-season on loan at Crystal Palace, where he scored seven goals in total
The 26-year-old joined Chelsea for £33million from Marseille in 2016 but has struggled for regular game time and been pushed further down the pecking order this summer following the Blues’ spending spree.
The £53m signing of Timo Werner, adding to Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud already in the squad, means Batshuayi would have been the fourth-choice striker in Frank Lampard’s options.
While on Chelsea’s books Batshuayi has spent time on loan at Valencia, Borussia Dortmund and Palace, and his spell at Selhurst Park was especially successful, with Batshuayi scoring seven times in just 13 games in the second half of the 2018-19 season.
Palace have now re-signed Batshuayi, who has also been linked with the likes of West Brom, Newcastle, Leeds and clubs in Germany.
The 26-year-old was down the pecking order in manager Frank Lampard’s options up front
He signed amid much promise in the summer of 2016 from Marseille, yet was a bit-part player from the off under Antonio Conte.
That being said, he scored the goal which clinched the 2016-17 Premier League title at West Brom.
Yet the following season, Batshuayi moved on loan to Borussia Dortmund in January 2018, where he effectively replaced Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who had just joined Arsenal.
The Belgian striker has failed to cement a regular starting spot since signing four years ago
Loan spells at Valencia and Palace followed, before a second chance by Lampard was not capitalised on last season.
Batshuayi’s arrival at Selhurst will also hamper the potential loan move of another Chelsea player, who was ready to make the short journey south of the River Thames.
Chelsea starlet Conor Gallagher has also been linked with a temporary move to the Eagles, but due to loan rules will have to scrap those plans. Newly-promoted pair West Brom and Leeds are said to now be intensifying their interest in the midfielder.
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