Pochettino willing to hand Chelsea outcast lifeline as summer rebuild starts to take shape

Ben Stewart
File photo dated 01-06-2019 of Mauricio Pochettino

According to the latest reports, Mauricio Pochettino is willing to hand a Chelsea outcast a lifeline as he starts to prepare for the 2023-24 season.

After months of speculation, the Argentine boss has finally put pen to paper on an official contract. Signing a deal until 2026, he will now begin the preparations for next season.

Pochettino will need to cut down this Chelsea squad as they are currently working with one of the biggest squads in Europe.

Despite the need to move players on, he is reportedly willing to hand Romelu Lukaku a lifeline at Stamford Bridge.

The Belgian forward had a disastrous season back in London upon his £97.5m move and he has spent this season on loan with Inter Milan.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the new Chelsea boss wants to ‘assess’ Lukaku, despite the forward wanting to stay in Italy.

The 30-year-old has had an injury-hit campaign back in Italy. However, he has still showcased some moments of quality.

Across all competitions, he has scored 13 goals this season, with plenty of his appearances coming from the bench.

In Serie A, he has produced a goal or assist every 104 minutes. If he produced that same consistency in a Chelsea shirt, Pochettino would be more than happy.

Chelsea will have to make tough call

There’s no doubt that Chelsea have lacked the presence of a natural number nine this season. Plenty of their problems from this season could’ve been solved by a natural goalscorer.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is expected to leave the club this summer and he could be followed by several other stars.

Lukaku himself has reaffirmed his desire to stay with Inter Milan. Although the Italian club would have to cough up a large sum to purchase him.

“I have an excellent relationship with the fans and I’ve always tried to give everything for Inter because it gave me the opportunity to win two years ago,” Lukaku told reporters. “This club has allowed me to become who I am today.”

On whether he wanted to stay at Inter, he added: “Yes, but guys you have to pay attention to those things. My goal is to give my best for Inter.”

There’s no doubt that Lukaku has tanked in value since Chelsea purchased him back in 2021. The club will either have to take a loss on him or reincorporate him back into the squad.

The Belgian forward does have some other potential suitors from around Europe to consider too. Aston Villa have even considered a move for the striker.

There’s no doubt that Lukaku still has something to offer. However, given his injury track record and how things unfolded last time in London, some Chelsea fans might be pensive on giving him a second chance.

His current deal at Chelsea runs until 2026 and so they are in a strong position to dictate his future. Time will tell if Pochettino does indeed rate him.

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