According to The Telegraph (subscription required), Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku believes that he was fit to start the UEFA Champions League fixture against LOSC Lille. The Belgian international also hopes to regain his position in the team for the EFL Cup final against Liverpool on Sunday.
Thomas Tuchel recently stated that the 28-year-old striker was a bit ‘tired and exhausted’ after being questioned about his absence in the match. Keeping this statement in mind, Lukaku’s thoughts seem to be in contradiction to the German manager.
The former Inter Milan striker only had seven touches in the entire match against Crystal Palace. His inability to create anything meaningful could potentially be one of the reasons that the former PSG manager may have thought against playing him up front on the day.
Tuchel’s new formation seems to have worked as Kai Havertz put in a brilliant performance in the centre-forward position and even opened the scoring for the Blues. He was a threat throughout the match and kept getting into dangerous positions. The West Londoners doubled the lead via a composed finish by Christian Pulisic and they would be looking to continue this same form against the Merseysiders on Sunday.
Chelsea spent a club-record fee of £97.5million to secure the services of the striker. Despite putting in some crucial performances in the FIFA Club World Cup, the former Manchester United striker has struggled to recreate that same kind of form in the Premier League as well as the UCL.
In conversation with CBS (h/t The Telegraph), Belgium coach Thiery Henry also shared his thoughts on the current dynamic between Chelsea and Romelu Lukaku. He also highlighted the different kind of style that is embodied by the player and the club in question:
“As a coach when you go and get Lukaku, you will have to make him adapt to how you play, or you change your way to suit him. I didn’t think that would happen. For Rom to adapt to the way Chelsea play, it takes time, it’s not an easy one.”
Havertz put in an exceptional performance against the French club at Stamford Bridge. He has stepped up to the plate on the big occasions, scoring in the Champions League as well as the FIFA Club World Cup. The German international is starting to cement his position as a big match player.
Tuchel could be given a new headache after seeing the young attacker’s performance against Lille. That being said, any manager would like to have such worries and it also helps boost competition amongst the squad. While Lukaku has had a truckload of experience in the Premier League in his previous stints, things don’t seem to be working in his favour at the moment.
The Chelsea faithful as well as the manager would be running out of patience considering his recent woes in front of goal. Romelu Lukaku is going to have to start producing more consistently if he is to cement a regular position in this squad which is already filled with a plethora of exciting attackers.