To reclaim a starting spot this season, Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has told Romelu Lukaku that he must rediscover his’spark.’ Lukaku returned to Chelsea in a club-record £100 million deal last summer, but he has struggled with form and fitness, and as a result has lost his first-choice status.
After securing a place in the FA Cup final, the Blues face Arsenal in the Premier League on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge. Tuchel explained why Havertz has surpassed Lukaku in the striker pecking order ahead of the London derby.
“All he needs is that spark,” he told reporters. Given the minutes Kai has played and the recent matches, he might have been a natural starter against Crystal Palace, but he lacked match fitness after a period of injury. I don’t accuse him of anything. It’s simply a fact.
“Compare and contrast the differences between Brentford and Real Madrid, as well as Southampton and Real Madrid. You can see how hard we work to become a winning team, and that is exactly what we need. Romelu should have scored against Real Madrid and Crystal Palace, but we’ll need all of his skills if he plays.”
At Inter Milan, Lukaku developed into one of Europe’s most prolific strikers, scoring 64 goals and providing 17 assists in 95 games over two seasons under Antonio Conte. However, since his blockbuster return to Chelsea, the 28-year-old has failed to live up to expectations, scoring just 10 times in 35 appearances this season.
Havertz has reclaimed his starting spot as a result of his inconsistent form and injury struggles, and he’s rewarded Tuchel’s faith with big goals in recent weeks. Meanwhile, after coming on against Real Madrid and Crystal Palace last week, Lukaku squandered guilt-inducing chances.
Chelsea are five points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur in third place, with two games remaining. Tuchel, on the other hand, has refused to suggest that his team will ease off the gas ahead of a ‘crucial’ run of games, which begins with Arsenal’s visit.
“I’m not sure we don’t fall to third or fourth place. As a result, we will put up a strong fight. Arsenal, West Ham, Man United, and Everton all have crucial matches coming up in a short period of time “Tuchel went on. “Given the task and what we don’t want to achieve, these are critical matches for us. Things appear to be relatively safe, but things can change so quickly.”