Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku was pranked at training on the occasion of his 29th birthday.
It happened the day before Liverpool’s FA Cup final, but it didn’t stop two of his teammates from having some fun with the Belgian.
After a poor first season back in west London, Lukaku has found a rich vein of form for the Blues.
Chelsea paid £97.5 million for the striker during the summer transfer window, but he has only eight Premier League goals in 25 games.
However, three of those goals have come in his last two games against Leeds and Wolves, generating a debate about whether or not he should now start for Thomas Tuchel in the season’s biggest match so far.
It was a question posed to Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel during his pre-match news conference, after the player’s agent fuelled further speculation by discussing his client’s future.
“I was only made aware of it [the agent’s comments] five or 10 minutes ago, actually,” he said.
“It’s what sometimes happens in football. The attention is so high that sometimes it attracts situations that you don’t want to have before big matches. It’s the way it is. For me, it is not a distraction and hopefully, for everybody that works on the team and the team itself, it is not.
“Yes, we can also play both [Lukaku and Kai Havertz], although they lacked a bit of the feeling of being a perfect fit together. It’s very likely that it is one of the two, but we will not give the line-up today.
“Listen, Romelu has played lately and scored lately. He did everything to stay on the pitch. Will be our final call in the morning.”
Despite the fact that the big game is only 24 hours away, spirits appeared to be high at training on Friday.
Jorginho and Mount devised a strategy to make Lukaku’s birthday special while the players relaxed in the pools.
Jorginho, one of Chelsea’s calmest figures on the field, approached Lukaku like a naughty child and began splashing the striker, who had lately wrapped himself in a towel, with the England ace serving as a videographer.
The birthday boy was clearly not a fan and tried to divert his teammate’s attention – despite the fact that Lukaku couldn’t help but smile.
Jorginho was eventually dragged into the pool. Mount posted the footage to his Instagram story after the dust had settled, with the caption: “Birthday present for the big man.”