‘A nightmare’: Rio Ferdinand admits he absolutely hated playing against one current Chelsea star

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‘A nightmare’: Rio Ferdinand admits he absolutely hated playing against one current Chelsea star

Rio Ferdinand opened up about the headaches Romelu Lukaku used to give him on the field.

Ferdinand admitted on his own YouTube channel that the current Chelsea striker was a difficult opponent to contain.

Defenders in the Premier League would have to go back a long time to find the last time Lukaku truly fit this definition.

Those who follow Serie A saw a side of the Belgian international that English fans may not have seen since his time at Everton.

Before joining Manchester United in 2017, he scored 87 goals in 166 games for Everton, becoming the club’s all-time leading scorer in modern top-flight history.

Since then, the centre-career forward’s on British soil has taken a downward turn.

It skyrocketed after joining Inter Milan, where the net rippled 64 times in 95 matches, nearly half of which occurred during the successful league title triumph last season.

When Thomas Tuchel returned to Chelsea last summer, it was widely assumed that he had finally found the missing jewel in his crown.

Because of the presence of a true number nine, the Blues could easily challenge Manchester City again.

His most recent performance against Crystal Palace drew a lot of criticism, owing primarily to the mere seven touches he managed in 90 minutes.

These performances make it easy to forget the player he once was.

Fortunately, for those who faced Lukaku at the height of his powers, the memory is still fresh.

“Raw talent. He’s one of those players you don’t want to play against that type all the time,” said Ferdinand on what it was like to take on Lukaku.

“He’s aggressive at times when he needs to be. The difference is that the teams I’ve played against him, Everton and West Brom, they played to his strengths.

“Now, no matter who you are, what type of player you are, if you don’t play to that particular player’s strengths, he’ll never look as good or be as good or effective as he should be.

“At the moment, that’s the way it seems. He would be far easier to play against at the moment.

“When he played for those two teams, (he made) runs in behind, always on the shoulder, always looking for that opportunity in behind the defender. For a defender that’s a nightmare.

“You could always see the potential and his goal record it was crazy. Talent-wise he’s always had it. Mad finisher.”

All of Ferdinand’s strengths are largely ineffective in the current Chelsea system.

When Lukaku makes a run beyond the last line, he is rarely recognized by his teammates.

He barely has enough time on the ball to put his head down and charge at opponents.

Something must change for this relationship to work, whether it is a personnel change or a tactical approach.


‘A nightmare’: Rio Ferdinand admits he absolutely hated playing against one current Chelsea star

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