Premier League • England

Azpilicueta reveals Tuchel trait crucial to steadying Chelsea ship after Lukaku storm

Thomas Tuchel speaking to Romelu Lukaku

Cesar Azpilicueta feels Romelu Lukaku will go on to be a success at Chelsea and revealed why Thomas Tuchel was equipped to deal with the recent situation.

Lukaku, 28, is now back in favour after apologising for comments he made on his move to Stamford Bridge. The Belgium international hinted that he was not happy at Chelsea and craved a return to Inter Milan. Tuchel dropped him and then sat down for face-to-face talks.

They seemed to do the trick, with the striker making it clear he is committed to the Blues cause. And Azpilicueta has now backed his team-mate to move on and repay the faith shown in him.

“We would prefer not to have this kind of situation but once it happened, we had to deal with it,” he said, per The Mirror. “The manager of the club makes the decisions, he [Lukaku] apologised to the fans and to the manager and the club, the board and everybody.

“Now he is looking to have success with the team. I think he made it clear that for him, it was his dream since he was a boy to play for Chelsea and now the most important thing is to work on the pitch the way he has today to help the team.”

Lukaku returned to west London in the summer, with the European champions paying £97m for his services.

He has scored five top-flight goals from 13 appearances and Azpilicueta is adamant he will bag many more this term.

“The goals will come and hopefully everybody gets stronger and can move forward from here because I think we all have a very exciting four or five months ahead of us,” he added.

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Azpilicueta backs Tuchel ‘will to win’

Chelsea have slipped 10 points behind table-topping Manchester City. It is difficult to see Pep Guardiola’s side relinquishing their lead but there is still much for Chelsea to play for in 2021-2022.

The defence of their Champions League title is still very much alive. And they have a 2-0 first-leg lead over Tottenham in the EFL Cup semi-finals.

Tuchel has won plenty of trophies in his managerial career. And Azpilicueta believes he knows the reason why.

“I have had a number of managers and some have been very different,” he continued. “All they have in common is that will to win. But Thomas is someone who is very calm, but he is also very demanding. He is not happy when things are not going well.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel and defender Cesar Azpilicueta 2021

“He always wants more – more success. That is what he has proved with the success he has had and hopefully we can have more in the future.”

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