Former Chelsea defender William Gallas has insisted that Tiemoue Bakayoko should be given time to settle into life at Stamford Bridge.
Bakayoko joined the Premier League champions from Monaco in last summer’s transfer window, with Antonio Conte’s side spending £40m on the Frenchman.
The 23-year-old has struggled to make his mark during his first season in England, however, which has led to widespread criticism.
Gallas has told his countryman to ‘ignore what people are saying’, and the former defender has said that he will personally not judge Bakayoko until the 2018-19 campaign.
“I would tell him to just ignore what people have said,” the Frenchman told Goal.com. “Maybe they are right so maybe you have to work more, but don’t let people put you down because you play football.
“That was your dream to play football and you made a lot of sacrifices to be where you are. Don’t let people put you down and take the criticism in a positive way. Try to finish the season well and be ready for next year.
“He has to adapt as well to Premier League football, you have to give him time. That’s why it is really difficult to speak before, I like to give time to the players and the manager. For me, if I have to judge him, I will do it next season. For me, this season is about adaptation.
“Everything changed for him. Football, language, maybe the family, maybe it is difficult for him to find an apartment or a house and to feel good. I will judge him next season.”
Bakayoko has scored three times in 37 appearances for Chelsea this season.