Thomas Tuchel hints that Romelu Lukaku could start Chelsea vs Wolves

Romelu Lukaku has scored just five league goals since retuning to Chelsea last summer (Photo: Getty)

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has hinted that Romelu Lukaku might make a surprise start against Wolves in Saturday’s Premier League clash.

Lukaku has started just 13 league games since his record-breaking return to Stamford Bridge last summer, and only once in the last two months as his woeful form continues.

The 28-year-old was an unused substitute in Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat at Everton last week, and as a result many believe the Belgian may have played his last game for the Blues already, with a summer exit possibly looming.

But Tuchel rubbished these claims in his pre-match press conference on Friday, saying: ‘We signed a big player, and he still is a big player.

‘He didn’t come on [against Everton] because we have three changes and we used one unfortunately at half-time for [an injury to] Jorginho.

‘Otherwise, there was a huge chance that we would have had the same changes as we did at West Ham when he was involved with Hakim [Ziyech] and Christian Pulisic to turn the game in our favour.

Thomas Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel says Lukaku is still in his plans for next season (Photo: Chelsea TV)

‘He trained very well and maybe he starts tomorrow. Let’s see.’

A deadly striker at Inter Milan, since his £101million move Lukaku has scored just five times in the Premier League, with his last strike coming in December against Brighton.

It is believed that the player has struggled to adapt to Tuchel’s style of play and as such Kai Havertz has been preferred in the No.9 role ahead of him of late.

‘I actually don’t know what needs to happen for him,’ Tuchel added.

‘He needs to happen, everybody needs to happen, this is the life of a football player on this kind of level. Everybody does their very best and it’s like this for every other player.

‘Of course, we do the very best to integrate him. We need to support him, and he needs to trust in what we do.

‘There is not just this one thing that we can provide to make this happen, this is about trust and commitment, the feeling of the game, luck, momentum.’

The German head coach was also asked if Lukaku was still in his plans for the future, and he replied that he was, in part because of the ongoing Chelsea takeover saga.

‘There is no way we can plan recruitment and let players leave because it is simply not possible until the situation changes.

‘I want him to be a very important part of the squad next season and he already is right now.’


MORE : ‘There is zero problem’ – Thomas Tuchel responds to Christian Pulisic’s dad’s Twitter rant


MORE : West Ham plot summer transfer move for Chelsea striker Armando Broja

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