The 22-year-old Belgian striker has scored 22 goals with 10 assists in 49 appearances in all competitions for Marseille this season but is looking set to leave the French club this summer.
He may have signed a contract extension as recently as January, but Marseille coach Franck Passi has confirmed that it looks highly likely that Batshuayi will be plying his trade for new club by the time the new season begins.Embed from Getty Images
“Everyone knows he’s leaving,” Passi has said. “I think it’s included in the budget that Michy will probably be transferred this summer.”
Marseille president Vincent Labrune spoke last summer about the striker’s value and said clubs would have to pay in the region of €50 million (£40 million) to secure his services.
“There is not a single top-15 world club that is not interested in Batshuayi, Labrune said a year ago.
“He is one of the most wanted players on the market. There were a lot of offers for him this summer, but he didn’t want to leave. He’s proving himself on the pitch, and if clubs want him then they are going to have to pay around €50m.”
But should West Ham or Tottenham be looking to break their transfer records to sign him?
In short, the answer is probably no. But that doesn’t mean he should be avoided either. While he has yet to shine on the biggest stages in football, Batshuayi’s potential cannot be questioned at this stage of his career.
The former Standard Liege forward netted 44 goals in 120 games during his time in Belgium before making the move to Marseille in 2014 – an average of 0.37 goals per game.
He has scored 32 in 77 matches since moving to France, netting an improved average of 0.42 goals per game over the past two seasons and has relished in the role of lone striker with L’OM this term.
A move to either Spurs or West Ham would not guarantee Batshuayi a spot as the team’s first-choice striker, with Harry Kane the main forward at White Hart Lane and Andy Carroll the Hammers’ current lead frontman.Embed from Getty Images
But that won’t necessarily affect Batshuayi. He has only enjoyed one season as the main forward at any club to this point, while he is far from first choice on the international scene with fellow Belgian forwards Christian Benteke, Romelu Lukaku and Divock Origi all fighting for minutes too.
He patiently played second fiddle to Andre-Pierre Gignac to great effect last season, netting nine goals in 897 minutes of league play – an average of a goal every 99 minutes – and used his reduced playing time to adapt to a new league.
Batshuayi would need to do something similar if he does indeed move to the fast-paced Premier League in the next couple of months, rather than being thrust in as a club’s star striker from the word ‘go’.
Spurs appear to be frontrunners for his signature at this stage, with the lure of Champions League football and Mauricio Pochettino’s reputation for developing young talent both huge positives for the player.
Though a move to West Ham as they prepare for life in the Olympic Stadium will also excite the youngster, who would be able to link back up with former teammate Dimitri Payet with a move to Slaven Bilic’s side.
He has been Marseille’s shining light in what has been a disappointing season but being surrounded by better players would surely see his goalscoring talents continue to evolve – something he would get with a move to either London club.
In today’s market, £40 million is not quite as staggering a fee as it probably should be. But it would still be a huge amount for either Spurs or West Ham to invest in a young striker who has no Premier League experience.
WATCH: Michy Batshuayi’s highlights (via ScoutNationHD on YouTube):
There are several upsides to Batshuayi’s game, with his potential seemingly huge. But if Marseille demand anything in excess of £30 million, there will be an enormous amount of pressure instantly thrust onto the young Belgian’s shoulders, as well as the football club that signs him.
The striker looks set to play his final game for Marseille in the French Cup final against PSG next weekend but where he will be next season remains to be seen.
Do you think Michy Batshuayi is worth £40 million? Which club would he suit better – West Ham or Tottenham?