Thomas Tuchel hopes that Romelu Lukaku’s brace against Wolves can spark the confidence required for the Belgian striker to build upon his peformance for Chelsea.
Lukaku is Chelsea’s top scorer this season but with just 14 goals has not set Stamford Bridge alight like many expected when he completed his £97.5 million transfer in August. Until his penalty against Wolves, the former Man United forward had not scored a Premier League goal in 2022.
That was in part down to Kai Havertz securing a starting role, leading the forward line but there was little question that Chelsea played better with the Germany international rather than his teammate. The immediacy and quality of Lukaku’s second strike against Jose Sa, seemed to suggest a change in gear for the 28-year-old’s form, however, while Tuchel perhaps hinted another start could be in store. Could now be the moment for Lukaku to find his quality?
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“He is more than welcome to show it all the time,” said the former Borussia Dortmund coach. “He has been scoring goals since he was six years old. It is in his body and this is what I tell him all the time – to trust your body, trust your brain, trust your instincts.
“You know how to do it, you will never forget how to score but he needs a spark and hopefully this was it and he can continue. It is always a good moment to have you strike in confidence and in shape.
“For many strikers, once they start overthinking things, it’s not good because they should trust their instincts. When they do not get enough minutes they start thinking about their situation and it starts a cycle where it is hard to climb out. In general he is very committed in training, he is committed as a team player. That is what we love about him. No big ego, no ego at all.”
It is just as well the summer signing has no ego as given the manner of Chelsea’s draw at the weekend, Tuchel was reluctant to offer Lukaku praise despite his brace. Speaking on Tuesday, Tuchel conceded that he should have offered more to the striker, and accepted his foward could be happy with his display.
“Of course, but it was simply not the moment. The disappointment was huge and in the end it’s a team effort and it’s a team sport,” added Tuchel. “I learned very early as a coach that your No9 – we said even in the academy – we want anybody in the team not to be happy if they don’t win, but if it is a 3-3 and your No9 scores three goals he may be the only one, okay he can go off with a smile because he did more or less his job.
“It’s a bit of an exaggeration, but he has the right to be happy for him personally because it is the most important thing for a striker to score and he knows that we are happy for that and everybody was happy that he could find a goal for us because it was very important. I do understand it and he gets the praise for it, but right after the game in the press conference, the disappointment was bigger.”
Source by Football London