The Blues manager has explained what Romelu Lukaku brings to his squad as the striker closes in on a club-record transfer deal.
Thomas Tuchel reckons Romelu Lukaku’s style of play can help Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, and Christian Pulisic thrive for Chelsea.
Lukaku is on the verge of a sensational return to Stamford Bridge. The Belgian had a medical on Monday after Chelsea struck a club-record €115 million (£97.5m) transfer deal to sign him from Inter Milan. He has agreed on a five-year contract worth around €12-13 million net.
Now Tuchel has spoken for the first time about Lukaku’s potential arrival and revealed how he is exactly the kind of player needed at Stamford Bridge.
“We lost Olivier Giroud [to AC Milan] who played a crucial role in the club. He was the kind of profile that loves to play with his back towards the opponent’s goal, who likes to hold the ball and create space for Kai Havertz, for Timo Werner, for Christian Pulisic, who love to play around him,” the German told Sky Sports.
“This is the kind of profile that we don’t have in our squad right now and are looking for. If it is possible to sign it, we will try to sign it. If it is not possible to sign a player, we will find other solutions.
“It is still not the moment to talk about names because we have nobody signed yet and we will show all the respect to all other clubs by not starting to talk about their players.”
On Lukaku, Tuchel added: “Romelu is one of the guys like [Erling] Haaland at Dortmund, [Robert] Lewandowski at Bayern, Harry Kane at Tottenham, who is a real No 9 who loves to score and who has a presence in the box. That is not a secret. The sentence [Tuchel describing Lukaku as a ‘fantastic player’] is easy to repeat for any coach in the world.”
🗣️ "This is the kind of profile we are looking for"
Thomas Tuchel believes Romelu Lukaku's style is ideal for Chelsea – allowing others to shine around him pic.twitter.com/HeuHho1fLR
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) August 10, 2021
How did Lukaku fare in his first spell?
Lukaku is arguably one of the biggest Chelsea rejects who became a tremendous success elsewhere.
The striker joined the Blues as an 18-year-old in 2011 from Anderlecht and was immediately billed as Didier Drogba’s long-term successor. But he made just 15 first-team appearances without a single goal to his name.
Then-Blues boss Jose Mourinho eventually sold him in 2014 for around €35.4 million after loan spells at West Brom and Everton.
Seven years later, Lukaku has developed into one of the world’s best strikers following an impressive two seasons at Inter. Now he could be about to become the most expensive signing in Chelsea’s history.