Romelu Lukaku is inching back to fitness after picking up an ankle injury last month. Leicester City away from home could be his next game, but with a fanbase who have yet to see him at his best since his return – what should we expect of him?
Carefree Chelsea’s presenter and writer Daniel Child’s (DC) spoke with the Football Therapy’s Youtube channel presenter, Yannick (Y) on Tuesday afternoon’s Carefree Social about how Thomas Tuchel will use Romelu Lukaku in a strong squad.
DC: “Just looking at the clamour for the club to sign a new striker in January, in case Lukaku goes down again. I feel like with the squad, Tuchel has proven his intelligence to maximise the level of efficiency throughout the squad. Do you agree?
“Because I’m not sure if Lukaku needs to bang in 30 goals for us to be serious title contenders.”
Y: “I agree with you. What I find interesting about that question and topic is what Tuchel recently said about this, that he’s an advocate for and I think he recently said, if you want to win league titles you need this player to score goals.
“Yes, it’s interesting that he’s playing this robust system with wingbacks, bearing in mind that he came from Dortmund. Aubameyang had his highest ever scoring season under Thomas Tuchel. Loads of goals.
“When Chelsea were looking at him at the time. Obviously, Arsenal got him, that worked well for a while. Mbappe scored the most amount of league goals under Thomas Tuchel. I know this was under different circumstances as well.
“He’s an advocate and believer of having that player in the team. If he wasn’t I don’t think we would have spent £100 million on Lukaku. So, this is an ethos that Tuchel follows.
“It’s interesting because of the point made about systemic wingbacks, occupying space and knowing who to pick up because of this guy turning to other people in situations.
“Lukaku in theory should be one of these top five players, like Lewandowski. All bets are off, you can try and mark him, but he’s going to score. Like Benzema at the moment.
“With Lukaku, regardless of what you say, there is a romance to it. Chelsea boy comes back, he’s got something to prove. He’s got an amazing record in the Premier League, he’s Belgium’s all-time highest goalscorer. There’s just marketing there.
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“It’s about playing to his strengths and not dropping him into your system. It is the Roberto Martinez at Everton and Belgium, the Antonio Conte at Inter. Playing him in that right-hand channel, half-space where he receives the ball and turns.
“He needs to feel good because when he does he’ll explode. Is Tuchel going to and willing to do that? Or is he going to risk the basics of Tuchel ball, robust systemic ball at Chelsea to get this striker firing?”