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Thomas Tuchel concerned Chelsea face Cristiano Ronaldo predicament with Romelu Lukaku


Thomas Tuchel concerned Chelsea face Cristiano Ronaldo predicament with Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku was billed as the missing piece of the Chelsea puzzle when he returned to Stamford Bridge this summer.

After a fruitful two seasons with Inter Milan, where he cemented his status as one of Europe’s best strikers, the Belgian returned to the Premier League in a £97.5 million transfer.

Lukaku made an immediate impact, scoring four goals in his first four appearances for the Blues.

However, the 28-year-brilliant old’s start faded, and he has failed to score in his last six games.

In recent games, Chelsea’s strength has been in their defense rather than their attack, as it was last season.

Lukaku’s mini-drought is disappointing given his exorbitant price tag, and Tuchel has blamed his recent goal-shy form on a crowded fixture schedule.

After playing in the Nations League semi-final against France, the former Manchester United and Everton player was forced to withdraw from the Belgium squad earlier this month due to muscle fatigue.

“We are in the process of adapting to each other and in my opinion, I feel Romelu is being overplayed,” said Tuchel ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League clash with Malmo on Wednesday.

“I think he played too many competitions over the summer, with his national team and now the Nations League.”

Lukaku advanced to the Euro 2020 quarter-finals, where Belgium was defeated by eventual winners Italy, and Tuchel is debating whether he needs a break from first-team action.

The Chelsea boss added: “It is difficult to judge. Does he (Lukaku) really need a break, or is it better to keep him on the pitch? The next national break is coming but this is what I feel particularly for him, and some other players too.”

Lukaku’s situation is strikingly similar to that of Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United.

Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is understandably hesitant to rotate his team’s talisman forward, but he did so earlier this month, unlike Tuchel.

Ronaldo was rested by Solskjaer for the visit of Everton, which came three days after the 36-year-old played 95 minutes in a hard-fought victory over Villarreal.

The Norwegian’s decision backfired, as United were held to a 1-1 draw by the Toffees, with Ronaldo unable to make an impact as a substitute.

Tuchel will be hesitant to risk losing points in the Premier League title race by benching Lukaku in the same way, especially given Chelsea’s lack of depth at center-forward.

However, the German’s concern about Lukaku’s physical condition means he may be forced to rest him, as Solskjaer did with Ronaldo.


Thomas Tuchel concerned Chelsea face Cristiano Ronaldo predicament with Romelu Lukaku

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