Premier League • England

Shock Chelsea reversal on the cards, amid ready-made transfer suggestion for ’embarrassed’ star

The idea of Romelu Lukaku returning to Inter Milan on loan from Chelsea to fill his own void has been speculated by the Italian media, after facing further criticism in England.

Lukaku returned to the Premier League in the summer after two productive seasons in Serie A. His spell with Inter culminated in becoming an Italian champion last season. Consequently, his value was just shy of £100m when Chelsea bought him.

However, he has surprisingly not been justifying his price tag. Lukaku has only scored five goals from 17 Premier League matches this season. In the most recent of those, he alarmingly managed just seven touches.

It has become a problem for Chelsea to solve, especially after the money they spent on him. Thomas Tuchel has already been speaking about how he has such a responsibility. However, the coach does not necessarily have an answer.

In the bigger picture, if Lukaku does not rediscover the form that saw him score at least 30 goals in consecutive seasons for Inter, his current employers may have to work out what to do with him.

The 28-year-old is under contract with Chelsea until 2026. However, it is now being speculated that he could end up away from Stamford Bridge much sooner. According to journalist Fabrizio Biasin, Lukaku could even be allowed to re-sign for Inter on loan.

Biasin told (via Sport Witness): “He was a magnet last season. All the balls pass by his feet.

“It is sensational to think about how many balls he touches at Chelsea. Maybe he’ll be back on loan next season.”

Chelsea look at Ekitike to replace Lukaku as Abramovich gets frustrated

Chelsea are loooking at Hugo Ekitike to replace Romelu Lukaku as Roman Abramovich gets frustrated with Chelsea striker

Inter are still working out a succession plan in their post-Lukaku era. They signed Edin Dzeko on a two-year contract in the summer, for example, as a short-term measure.

The Serie A champions will be looking for a younger striker as well when the season ends. One major target is Sassuolo frontman Gianluca Scamacca.

However, Biasin thinks Inter directors Giuseppe Marotta and Piero Ausilio will be looking for someone already of a high calibre too. In that regard, a return for Lukaku could be on the cards.

Biasin added: “I think it is correct to speak of a possibility Scamacca in front. On him a chip has been placed.

“But Marotta and Ausilio are two old foxes. They know that a more ready striker is also needed to play at great levels. So, they are also thinking of something else.”

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That said, the very reason Inter had to sacrifice Lukaku in the summer was because of financial difficulties. It is questionable they would be able to afford a permanent transfer of a similar level. Therefore, they could be hoping for a favour from Chelsea to allow him to return on loan.

Lukaku caused controversy earlier in the season by revealing he would want to play for Inter again. Chelsea came into question through his comments, which caused tension between club and player.

Now, the Blues are relying on the Belgian again on the pitch. However, if he does not step up, they may send him away again.

Sutton slams Lukaku for Chelsea struggles

Back in England, pundits have not been impressed with Lukaku’s levels since he re-joined Chelsea.

Chris Sutton, another striker who was once Chelsea’s record signing but didn’t hit the heights, has now claimed Lukaku should be “embarrassed” by his recent statistic against Crystal Palace.

Romelu Lukaku during a Chelsea match

And Sutton thinks it is on Lukaku to make his own luck, rather than blame a lack of service.

The pundit wrote for the Daily Mail: “If I had ever finished a game having had only seven touches of the ball, I’d feel embarrassed walking back into that training ground.

“For a striker to come out of 90 minutes with that sorry statistic screams ‘I’m hiding’ and there’s no escaping that for Romelu Lukaku.

“Maybe he will blame a lack of service, but that’s only part of the problem. If Lukaku wanted to touch the ball more than seven times against Crystal Palace, he could have done.

“He could have made better movements. He could have made it impossible for his team-mates to ignore him.”

Sutton added, given Lukaku’s failure in his first spell with the club as well: “The longer he struggles, the more you wonder if Chelsea isn’t right for Lukaku and vice versa. It’s on him to change that narrative.”

During his controversial interview, Lukaku admitted difficulties with the system Chelsea have been playing. It is different to the one he thrived in for Inter. But Sutton thinks the Belgian should have know what he was signing up for.

He said: “Did he expect Chelsea to play the way he was playing at Inter Milan? Inter played with two up top under Antonio Conte.

“They had a counter-attacking style and he would drop deep to contribute to those fast breaks, applying his pace and ball-carrying skills.

“Lukaku would often drift towards the right-hand side of the pitch so he could come inside on to his favoured left foot. That isn’t the Chelsea way.

“Tuchel likes possession and high pressing, and Lukaku was signed to be their certified man up top, to score the goals to turn them into Premier League champions. I even tipped Chelsea to win the title because of their new star signing in the summer.

“It doesn’t look like Tuchel is going to change his philosophy any time soon.”

Therefore, the onus is on Lukaku to fit in, or he could risk his Chelsea career ending prematurely.

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