Chelsea could solve Romelu Lukaku dilemma by beating Arsenal and Tottenham to sign former partner


Romelu Lukaku was touted as the missing piece of Thomas Tuchel’s jigsaw puzzle when he joined the reigning European Champions last summer, making the club-record transfer return to Stamford Bridge after seven-years away from the club. In an unbelievable campaign the season before with Inter Milan, where he scored 24 goals in 36 Serie A appearances, it hasn’t quite worked out for the Belgian in this one.

Mid-season injury and fitness concerns kept him out of the reckoning for a while before a slow return and lack of minutes impacted his momentum with the Blues. An interview with Sky Italia, where he claimed he was unhappy at the club weeks before it was aired also didn’t help his case.

The 28-year-old has since lost his space to Kai Havertz up front, with Lukaku scoring just five times in the Premier League this season. Discussing the issue surrounding the striker last month, Tuchel said: “Of course, it is not easy at the moment for him [Romelu Lukaku] but he is a member of the team – an important member of the team.

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“There are other players at certain times who are not happy because the biggest problem is we can only start 11 players and a lot of players think – and have a reason – to feel they are regular starters for us. There’s always a chance [for Lukaku] because Kai [Havertz] can also play more positions, we can play with double strikers like in the second half against Burnley and Luton. There’s always a chance, it is not only Romelu.”

The two may have to compromise in the middle somewhere eventually for the move to work out, with the manager finding ways to get him in the game while the striker changes some of his style to fit what the manager is trying to achieve with his tactical system. One way to solve this conundrum could be through a strike partnership, making him less isolated at the top end of the field.

This problem of Lukaku’s isolation was most prevalent against Crystal Palace, where he managed just seven touches. As Tuchel has mentioned previously, the system can play with two strikers, so why not sign one he has already established a partnership with?

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That option could be Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez. According to Calciomercato, the 24-year-old is free to leave the club in the summer and London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham are eyeing a move.

However, if the Blues could get there first, they could pair them up to recreate their best of days at the San Siro. Last season they scored a combined 41 league goals, with Martinez often finding space in behind while Lukaku drops slightly deeper.

It would mean less emphasis on the Belgian to be a complete striker and would allow him to focus on doing one role. Back when he did the Sky Italia interview, he was asked about Martinez and said: “I miss Lautaro Martinez, I could die on the pitch for him since day one I met him.”

While Chelsea haven’t been linked with MNartinez, so far at least, a potential move could help unlock both players and give Tuchel that extra attacking push needed for a title charge next season.

Source by Football London

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