Lukaku gives verdict as Conte and Tuchel go to war over his Chelsea form

Date published: Wednesday 6th October 2021 8:49 - James Holland

Romelu Lukaku Chelsea

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has reacted to the recent war of words between Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel.

The Belgium hitman re-joined Chelsea in the summer for a club-record £97.5million fee. He marked his return to the Blues with a goal as they beat London rivals Arsenal 2-0.

After being kept at bay by Liverpool, Lukaku then notched a brace against Aston Villa on September 11.

But the 28-year-old has been quiet since then, failing to score in each of his last four appearances.

His lack of goals meant former Inter and Chelsea boss Conte chipped in with some advice for Tuchel.

“I don’t think Chelsea have quite figured out how to use him yet,” the Italian said. “He is a very specific striker. Bringing Lukaku into the box, he is dangerous. However, when he starts from midfield, he is incredibly quick.

“It is very difficult to find a player who is both a target man but can also run from midfield.”

In response, Tuchel said he ‘wasn’t offended’ as Conte had the right to give his opinion while working as a pundit.

But the German also told his fellow manager to go and watch the 3-0 Tottenham win, during which Lukaku played a big role.

Lukaku has now joined up with Belgium for their Nations League semi-final and World Cup qualifiers.

He was asked about the row during an interview with UEFA. The forward seemed to agree with Conte about his favoured style of play.

“The way I’m built – I’m quite big – everybody thinks I’m a sort of target man: just holding up the ball and being a goal poacher,” he said.

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“But I’ve never played that way and I hate it. My biggest strength is that I’m dangerous when I’m facing towards the goal, because that’s when I rarely make wrong choices.

“After I pass the ball, I know where I have to position myself in the box. I can do a bit of everything and in some games when I know there is a lot of space behind the defence, I play differently.

“The reason I’m so productive [in front of goal] is because I can do a bit of everything.”

Former Chelsea man returns to England setup

Roma striker Tammy Abraham has been selected in Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad.

The 24-year-old was sold by Chelsea in the summer following Lukaku’s arrival at Stamford Bridge.

He has got off to a great start in Italy, registering four goals and three assists in his first ten appearances.

Eyebrows were raised when he was left out of the Three Lions setup last week.

But Southgate has now called up the striker alongside Chelsea defender Ben Chilwell.

READ MORE: Chelsea star makes ‘distracted’ transfer vow as major exit links grow


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