Is Lukaku Chelsea’s Problem or Is Chelsea Lukaku’s Problem?

Is Lukaku Chelsea’s Problem or Is Chelsea Lukaku’s Problem?

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21 Jan 2022
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Romelu Lukaku has scored just once in his last five matches – vs Chesterfield and scored four times in his first five games this season

It would be an understatement to say that Romelu Lukaku’s first season back at Chelsea has not gone to plan.

When the Belgium striker returned to Stamford Bridge in a £98million deal in the summer he looked to be the final piece in Thomas Tuchel’s jigsaw, a player capable of helping Chelsea deliver their Premier League title for five years.

It all started so well. Having missed the opening match of the season against Palace as he had only just signed from Inter Milan, Lukaku showed the Premier League just how much he had improved in Italy with a ruthless display against Arsenal, scoring in a comfortable 2-0 away win.

That kickstarted a run of four goals in five matches as Lukaku and Chelsea wowed fans and had pundits predicting Premier League and Champions League glory.

Since then it has all turned surprisingly sour. Lukaku went nine matches without scoring either side of spending a month out with a sprained ankle, then was in and out of the team in December after being hit by Covid, before his bombshell interview with Sky Italia rocked Chelsea’s boat.

Frustratingly, that came just as Lukaku looked to be returning to top form after three goals in four matches, including a match-winning appearance as a half-time substitute against Aston Villa which saw him produce his best football since early September.

Tuchel did not take kindly to his star striker criticising the way Chelsea play under the German, as well as openly saying he’d like to return to Inter one day, and dropped him for the thrilling 2-2 draw at home to Liverpool earlier this month.

Following an apology, Lukaku has been reinstated and has started their last five matches. But we are back to the Lukaku of late September and early October, one who looks low on confidence and whose most memorable action was a half-time row with Hakim Ziyech in the draw with Brighton earlier this week.

His Chelsea tally for the season stands at just eight in 23 matches, while his only goal in the last five came against fifth-tier Chesterfield in the FA Cup – and even in that match Lukaku didn’t look convincing.

Having read what’s your take? Is Lukaku Chelsea’s problem or Chelsea is Lukaku’s problem.

  • chelsea
  • Romelu lukaku
  • Thomas Tuchel
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