Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku ‘lacks confidence, delivery and momentum’ after just two goals in his last 12 league games following interview controversy, but insists he has ‘trust’ in his forwards
- Thomas Tuchel has backed Romelu Lukaku to rediscover his goalscoring form
- The Belgian’s only goal of this year came against Chesterfield in the FA Cup
- Tuchel said strikers were ‘sensitive’ but he has trust in all of his forwards
- He also said the club may not sign anyone this window despite long term injuries
The Belgian has scored just two goals in his last 12 league games and has not netted since his goal against Chesterfield on January 8.
The relationship between player and manager has been strained since Lukaku gave an unauthorised interview to Sky Italia earlier this month in which he said the Chelsea system did not suit his play style.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has given his support to out-of-form striker Romelu Lukaku
He was dropped from the club’s clash against Liverpool as a result but has returned to the team since.
Now, Tuchel said the player is lacking on ‘confidence, delivery and momentum.’
‘From outside I would agree [that Lukaku is lacking confidence]. I remember we put him in against Aston Villa and he was straight away decisive for us,’ Tuchel told Sky Sports.
Tuchel said Lukaku ‘lacks confidence, delivery and momentum’ but said he still has trust in him
‘I remember at half time I asked him “can you play one half?” and he said “yes” because I thought it was maybe way too much for him but we rushed him into this and he was strong then came the situation with the interview that did not help to clear his mind.
‘Maybe [Lukaku] is struggling very naturally with everything a little bit.
‘It would be enough to only have COVID to deal with but we had the other situation and of course he missed an important match for us and, I am just guessing but he is only human and there are reactions in his family for sure and his surrounding and his environment.
Lukaku was dropped for the game against Liverpool after giving an unauthorised interview
‘He lacks a bit of confidence, he lacks a bit of delivery, of momentum and this is what we try to reinstall which is maybe the most difficult because the strikers are sensitive players.’
The German insisted he had confidence in all of his forwards despite their drops in form.
‘It’s not only Romelu who struggles and we don’t have, in the moment, anyone else who jumps in and scores and scores and scores.
Since his return, he has scored one goal which came in the FA Cup tie against Chesterfield
‘So I agree it’s not only about Romelu, it is about our offensive players in general and we try and help them and try to overcome this kind of period because we have trust in all of them, they are our players, and they deserve it.’
Tuchel also stated the club would only look to bring in players this transfer window if they fit their long-term plans, despite injuries to Reece James and Ben Chilwell.
When asked if Chelsea would do any business in this window, Tuchel said: ‘I would not say no but I would also not say yes we will absolutely do because we are looking for a high level of commitment of character but also of talent to make our squad better than it already is.
Despite injuries to Ben Chilwell and Reece James the club may not sign anyone this January
‘[Injuries have] hit us strangely. It hit us in groups. There were injuries for all our strikers then suddenly there were injuries for our midfielders and now it’s all our defenders.
‘Not only injuries but on top of it with COVID. In doing something in the window and pushing, first of all, there must be a perfect fit and then you have to take into your thoughts that players will come back.
‘Reece James will come back at some point hopefully sooner than later, Ben Chilwell needs some time and this will be in the new season but still we want to rely on him and we want him to play an important role here at Chelsea.
‘It’s quite complex to think about everything so maybe no easy answer about that.’