Romelu Lukaku has gone six games in a row in the Premier League and the Champions League combined without a start, playing barely over 45 minutes in the process. He’s continued to start in the FA Cup and play almost every minute there, but that’s surely not what anyone envisioned or expected from the club’s record signing, including the record signing himself.
But that’s the reality of the situation, and that’s what we’ve all got to love. And that includes Romelu as well. When asked about his striker’s situation, Thomas Tuchel made it very clear that this is not the time to put personal feels ahead the collective good.
“Romelu still plays a big part in our plans. Not the part maybe he wants to play and I totally understand that [but] at the moment, there is no space for a bad mood and no space for disappointment. There is simply not [...] there is no space now for second thoughts, being distracted or disappointed.”
A busy month starts on Saturday for us! pic.twitter.com/6nWSNkotn9— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 31, 2022
To his credit, other than his (big) misstep with the interview several months ago, Lukaku has been (seemingly) a very good teammate even when not being in the brightest spotlight, and hopefully that will continue through the rest of the season. We have a massive month of April ahead of us, and hopefully, an equally massive May as well with potentially two major finals available to us. We’re going to need everyone moving in the same direction.
“He used his time [during the break] to disconnect a little bit, had one week of a holiday, and then he was back with us. I feel him very motivated, very strong in training, very much involved when we do the games. He is a winner and he will stay a winner and stay important with us. He had a good match against Middlesbrough which was a huge boost for all of us and for him personally.
“[...] There are a lot of matches in the decisive weeks of the season. [We] need everybody, every player and that includes Romelu.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
Together, as one.