Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku only has himself to blame for his recent Premier League goal drought, one pundit has claimed.
The Blues paid a club-record £97.5million to re-sign the Belgium international from Inter this summer. They hope he will prove the missing piece in their puzzle and help fire them to their first title since 2017.
While he enjoyed an impressive start, though, he has not scored in six matches.
The Blues may still be top of the Premier League after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Brentford, but they had goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to thank for several saves.
Indeed, Lukaku failed to score in that game again and Paolo di Canio has spoken out about comparisons between him and Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, who has netted eight times in nine games.
“I heard [Giuseppe] Bergomi comparing Osimhen and Lukaku,” Di Canio told the Sky Calcio Club Show (via the Daily Mail). “But Osimhen has a different spirit, he’s not dull like him.
“When the difficulty increased he scored no goals in five games with Chelsea. And it’s not Chelsea’s fault, they are first even without his goals.
“Lukaku does not score. Lukaku is a functional player, as he is Llorente (Fernando) was in [Antonio] Conte’s Juve.
Barcelona shortlist three Chelsea defenders
Barcelona have reportedly shortlist Chelsea defenders Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen all as transfer targets, with more news on Ousmane Dembele and Edinson Cavani.
“Even if Lukaku is stronger than Llorente. Lukaku is functional to a certain type of game.”
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel recently had something of a war of words with Conte over Lukaku.
The former Inter manager, who got the best out of the forward last season, claimed that Tuchel does not know how to do so at Stamford Bridge.
Tuchel then insisted that Lukaku does more than just score goals. Indeed, he pointed to his impact – without scoring – in the 3-0 win over Tottenham.
Tuchel eases Lukaku, Chelsea concerns
Tuchel eased concerns over Lukaku again on Saturday after the defeat of Brentford.
He said: “I am not concerned as I felt him a bit tired, and then isolated because we were defending too deep as a block.
“I felt him a bit tired. Altogether we produced a very strong 60 to 75 minutes, including Romelu and Timo [Werner].
“Both of them, Romelu and Timo, were too far away to help us escape the pressure. That was the problem, but I have no concerns.”
Chelsea return to action on Wednesday when facing Malmo in the Champions League.