Bakayoko made his debut for the Ligue 1 side on 24 August 2013 in a Ligue 1 match against Évian TG, playing the whole match in a 2–1 away win.+
Bakayoko playing for Monaco in 2014
Bakayoko joined Monaco in July 2014 for £7 million, and made his debut for the club on 10 August 2014 in a Ligue 1 match against Lorient. He was replaced by Valère Germain after 32 minutes in a 2–1 home loss. His early substitution by Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim created a strained relationship between the two, with Bakayoko saying: “From then on, something was a little broken between him and me”. After his debut, Bakayoko didn’t start another match for over two months, with the remainder of his season blighted by injuries and inconsistent form. Difficulties between Jardim continued, with Bakayoko feeling unfairly treated by his manager who had become frustrated at Bakayoko’s progress, questioned his attitude during training and was critical of Bakayoko for sometimes being late for meetings.
pink to black. Additionally, he began boxing, changed his diet and improved his strength. He was helped by former France international Claude Makelele, who had been appointed director of football at Monaco in 2016, on how to improve his football and take care of himself off the pitch. Bakayoko also sought advice from his former youth coach at Rennes, Yannick Menu. As a result, and with Jérémy Toulalan and Mario Pašalić having both left the club in 2016, Bakayoko became a regular starter for Monaco, helping the club to the Ligue 1 title in the 2016–17 season and named in the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League squad of the season. It was a decisive season for Bakayoko. Not only had he established himself as an important part of Monaco’s team with consistent performances, he had fewer injuries and his application during training was no longer criticised.
During the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League round of 16-second leg match at the Stade Louis II on 15 March 2017, Bakayoko scored the final goal (it was his first ever UEFA Europa League or UEFA Champions League goal) with a header from a Thomas Lemar free-kick to help Monaco secure a vital goal against Manchester City. Monaco won 3–1 and won the tie on the away goals rule (aggregate score 6–6).
During an interview, Bakayoko said a recurrence of an knee injury from 2015 leading to a crack in the meniscus caused him a lot of discomfort during his final season at Monaco: “People don’t know but throughout the whole of last season I suffered because of my knee. I really had to grit my teeth in every match.”
Bakayoko playing for Chelsea in 2017
On 15 July 2017, Bakayoko signed for Premier League club Chelsea on a five-year contract for a fee around the margin of £40 million, making him the club’s second most expensive signing at the time, after Fernando Torres. He made his Chelsea debut in a 2–1 away win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on 20 August 2017. On 5 February, he was sent off for the first time in his Chelsea career, in a 4–1 loss away to Watford. Bakayoko was given his marching orders for two bookable offences, one on Étienne Capoue and the other on Richarlison, both in the first half.
Bakayoko failed to impress in his first season. He was criticised for his performances by fans and pundits alike, with games against both Watford, where he was sent off after only 30 minutes, and a 3–0 away defeat by Newcastle United on the last day of the Premier League season being singled out as two of his worst.
Bakayoko continued his poor form into the 2018–19 season, finding himself culpable for Inter Milan’s equaliser in a 1–1 pre-season draw, having lost possession in midfield.