Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has insisted he has no worries over “unselfish” Romelu Lukaku’s six-goal dry spell in front of goal.
Lukaku tucked away Timo Werner’s cross at Brentford on Saturday, only to see the effort rightly chalked out for offside. But Chelsea needed a superb Edouard Mendy performance to tiptoe away from the Brentford Community Stadium with a 1-0 win to step back to the Premier League summit.
Ben Chilwell’s sweet half-volley somehow settled the contest, while £98million club-record recruit Lukaku was again underused in attack.
Blues boss Tuchel has remained relaxed about Belgium hitman Lukaku’s recent barren run however, instead praising the 28-year-old’s selfless approach.
“I am not concerned as I felt him a bit tired, and then isolated because we were defending too deep as a block,” said Tuchel.
“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.
“Normally the best thing is that he scores. But he is very unselfish at the moment, looking for Timo in good situations.
“And we had him in the situation (to score), it was a close offside decision.”
Chelsea considering Gilmour return
Meanwhile, Chelsea transfer supremo Marina Granovskaia could be ready to recall Billy Gilmour from his loan spell at Norwich following comments from Canaries boss Daniel Farke.
The Scotland international moved to Carrow Road during the summer on a season-long loan deal. At the time the move was considered a shrewd piece of business for the promoted side. Indeed, Gilmour is regarded as one of the top young talents in British football.
However, since playing in their opening three matches of the campaign, Gilmour has recently been let out of the side by Farke.
Indeed, he was an unused substitute again as the Canaries drew 0-0 with Brighton on Saturday. That result stretched their winless run from the start of the season to eight games.
Speaking at his press conference ahead of the Brighton game, Farke insisted there is no expectation to select Gilmour and that young players from top Premier League clubs must expect competition for places.
Farke said: “There is no pressure (to play Gilmour). We are not here to develop players for other clubs. We are here to win points for this club,” the German told his press conference.
“They want to be Manchester United, Chelsea or Tottenham players one day. So they need to face a challenge and step up to it.”
That has led to the Sunday Express claiming that Chelsea director Granovskaia might look to recall Gilmour at the start of the new year.
Season-long loan deals generally include an option for clubs to recall their players in January.