Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has not been offended by former Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte’s opinion on Romelu Lukaku‘s recent dip in form.
Lukaku was in sublime form under Conte for the last two seasons at Inter Milan. The Belgian’s rise to the top saw him earn a club-record move back to Chelsea this summer.
After a bright start to his second innings at Stamford Bridge, the striker has hit a mini-dip in form over the last few games. His former coach Antonio Conte weighed in on what is causing Lukaku’s recent goalscoring drought. The Italian manager feels Chelsea are failing to use the striker in the right way and said:
“I don’t think Chelsea have quite figured out how to use him yet. He is a very specific striker. Bringing Lukaku into the box, he is dangerous. However, when he starts from midfield, he is incredibly quick. It is very difficult to find a player who is both a target man but can also run from midfield.”
After Chelsea’s second consecutive loss in all competitions in midweek, Tuchel was asked about Conte’s comments on Lukaku. The German coach replied:
“He was obviously not on the telly after the Tottenham game. I don’t feel offended, he has every right. He is in the TV studio. I even saw it while I was showering before the match in the hotel. I saw him talking about us and I saw all the pictures between Romelu and our players from the Tottenham game. They were talking about the link-up play from Romelu, and how strong he is and how much he scored so they were praising him.”
“I can see it but it is not a Romelu Lukaku problem. The other teams have changed their structure to close down Romelu but there are solutions to this. We are on it.”
Conte’s time at Chelsea
Antonio Conte was in charge at Chelsea for two seasons (2016-18). While the Blues won the league in his first season, they finished a disappointing fifth in his second campaign at the club. Conte did win the FA Cup in his second season before parting ways with Chelsea.
The manager was known for his harsh, hard-hitting technique at the club, which worked on the players for a while. However, cracks eventually appeared with senior players falling out with the manager’s methods and techniques.
He went on to take charge of Inter Milan, where he won Serie A last season. He left the Italian club due to differences in opinion on the club’s long-term future.