Tiémoué Bakayoko (born 17 August 1994) is a French professional footballer who plays for Chelsea and the France national team. He plays as a defensive midfielder due to his ability to break up play, but is considered to have all-round ability, as well as possessing physical power and athleticism, with France manager Didier Deschamps describing him as "a complete midfielder."
After suffering a broken leg as a young player, Bakayoko joined the academy at Rennes at the age of 13. At 14, he was turned down by the Clairfontaine academy. His senior career began at Rennes where he made 24 appearances before moving to Monaco in 2014 for £7 million. In his first two seasons at the club, Bakayoko made 31 Ligue 1 appearances, but was a regular starter in the 2016-17 season, contributing to Monaco's Ligue 1 title win as well as being named in the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League squad of the season. In 2017 he joined Chelsea for £40 million.
Bakayoko made his first senior international appearance for France in March 2017.
Bakayoko has been compared to Yaya Touré due to his strong all-round qualities of pace, intelligent reading of the game, ability to intercept passes and accomplished tackling, passing and dribbling, as well as being physically powerful and atheltic. He plays as a defensive midfielder, breaking up attacks and making driving forward runs, with only Gabi and Danny Drinkwater breaking up more attacks during the 2016-17 Champions League. Bakayoko's mananger at Monaco, Leonardo Jardim, said: "He wins a lot of balls, brings balance to the team. He passes the ball well and wins his duels. That is Bakayoko's role." France manager Didier Deschamps describes Bakayoko as "a complete midfielder", and said: "He has an important athletic presence, he's good at recovery, he scores decisive goals and is able to project himself."