Chelsea may be able to fix Lukaku’s problem by outbidding Arsenal and Tottenham for his old teammate: When Romelu Lukaku joined the reigning European Champions last summer, he was hailed as the missing piece in Thomas Tuchel’s Rubik’s cube, making a club-record move return to Stamford Bridge after a seven-year absence.
After an incredible season at Inter Milan last season, in which he scored 24 goals in 36 Serie A games, things haven’t exactly worked out for the Belgian this season.
Injury and fitness problems kept him out of the picture for a while during the middle of the season, before a sluggish comeback and a lack of playing time slowed his progress with the Blues. His case was further harmed by an interview with Sky Italia in which he said he was dissatisfied at the club just weeks before it was broadcast.
The 28-year-old has now lost his starting spot up front to Kai Havertz, with Lukaku scoring just five Premier League goals this season. “Of course, it is not easy at the moment for him [Romelu Lukaku], but he is a part of the squad — an essential member of the team,” Tuchel said last month when asked about the striker’s situation.
“At times, there are other players who are dissatisfied because the major difficulty is that we can only start 11 players, and a lot of players believe – and have reason to believe – that they are regular starts for us.”
We can play with multiple attackers as we did in the second half against Burnley and Luton, so there’s always a chance [for Lukaku]. Kai [Havertz] can also play additional places. There’s always the possibility, and it’s not only Romelu.”
For the transfer to work out, the two may have to come to an agreement somewhere in the middle, with the manager finding methods to get him in the game while the striker adapting his style to match what the manager is trying to do with his tactical system.
A striking partnership might be one solution to this problem, allowing him to be less alone at the top of the field.
Lukaku’s seclusion was most noticeable against Crystal Palace, as he only got seven touches. Tuchel has already stated that the system can play with two attackers, so why not recruit one with whom he has already formed a partnership?
Lautaro Martinez of Inter Milan maybe that possibility. The 24-year-old is free to leave the club in the summer, according to Calciomercato, and London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham are interested.
They combined for 41 league goals last season, with Martinez frequently finding space in behind while Lukaku settles somewhat deeper.
Continue >>> Chelsea may be able to fix Lukaku’s problem by outbidding Arsenal and Tottenham for his old teammate.
It would take less pressure off the Belgian to be a complete striker, allowing him to concentrate on one duty. When questioned about Martinez during his Sky Italia interview, he remarked, “I miss Lautaro Martinez, I could die on the pitch for him from the day I met him.”
While Chelsea hasn’t been connected with MNartinez, a prospective transfer might help both players realize their potential and offer Tuchel the extra attacking impetus he needs for a championship challenge next season.