Former Arsenal star Paul Merson has slammed the performance of striker Michy Batshuayi following Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in the Premier League on Monday night. The Belgium international has been sparingly used from the starting line-up in all competitions this season but he had an excellent chance to prove himself against United with Tammy Abraham out injured.

However, that was clearly not the case and the marksman had a game to forget with a number of missed chances to find the net. As a result, Batshuayi was replaced by Olivier Giroud in the final quarter of the game and surprisingly the Frenchman managed to perform much better than him despite playing no competitive football over the past few months.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Merson said that the Blues are facing the threat of missing out on the top four this term as Batshuayi is not good enough to lead the line. He added that Sheffield United could make a shock push for Champions League football next term particularly with the likes of Chelsea and United struggling to break teams down this season.

He told: “When you look at Chelsea, you’re not going to get into the top four with Michy Batshuayi up front. He’s not good enough. I honestly think Sheffield United have every chance this season [to finish in the top four]. Neither Chelsea nor Manchester United seem to have the guile to break teams down. Had they also won against United, you’d be saying it’s done and dusted. At the moment, they just can’t break any teams down and aren’t taking their chances.”

The Blues accumulated 26 points from the opening 12 matches but they have since managed just 15 points from the next 14 games. As a result, they only hold a slender one-point lead over fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who are just one point ahead of Sheffield. Behind them, there is a chasing pack and the Blues face a must-win game against Spurs this weekend.