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Absolute Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel was 'ready to give Romelu Lukaku another try at Chelsea' before Inter Milan return

Matthew Debono

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Thomas Tuchel was 'ready to give Romelu Lukaku another try at Chelsea' before Inter Milan return

Thomas Tuchel has admitted he was willing to give Romelu Lukaku another go at Chelsea for the 2022/23 season, but the forward wanted to return to Inter Milan.

The 29-year-old’s club-record £97.5 million return to Stamford Bridge ended in failure, in reality, which saw him net 15 goals in all competitions during the 2021/22 campaign. 

Lukaku’s on the field performances and output didn’t live up to the high expectations, while his off the field conduct was questioned after his unauthorised interview with Sky Italia towards the end of 2021.

Romelu Lukaku warming up before the Premier League match between Chelsea and Watford at Stamford Bridge. (Alamy)
Romelu Lukaku warming up before the Premier League match between Chelsea and Watford at Stamford Bridge. (Alamy)

After the new owners arrived at Chelsea at the end of May, Lukaku’s future was one of the first issues to be resolved.

A decision was made to allow the Belgium international to leave the club and a loan agreement was struck with Inter Milan for Lukaku to re-join the Nerazzurri on a season-long loan for the 2022/23 season.

"Yes, I think we should all be honest that it was disappointing, but also for myself, from my term of performance,” Tuchel admitted to Sky Sports ahead of Chelsea’s opening home game of the season against Spurs

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“I am far away from pointing the finger at Romelu, but he is disappointed, I was disappointed.

"It is on me to find structure, to build an environment, to make a player confident and to bring the very best out of him, that’s why I am here. I’m serving the players, not the other way around. I did not succeed, that does not make me happy.

"I was ready to give it another try, Romelu decided differently and expressed his wish to go back.

"The owners decided, in the end, to agree to his wish, so we need to find new solutions.”

Chelsea and Inter Milan are reported to have an agreement in principle that if his loan spell is a success, he will spend a further season at the San Siro.

Tuchel’s side are yet to fully replace Lukaku. They signed Raheem Sterling from Manchester City, but have yet to sign an out-and-out striker. 

Romelu Lukaku of FC Internazionale gestures during the pre-season friendly football match between FC Lugano and FC Internazionale. (Alamy)
Romelu Lukaku of FC Internazionale gestures during the pre-season friendly football match between FC Lugano and FC Internazionale. (Alamy)

Talks are ongoing with Barcelona over a potential deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but no agreement has been reached yet. 

Tuchel worked with the Gabon international at Borussia Dortmund and was extremely positive of the striker, but was coy on any potential interest in the former Arsenal man. 

He said: “I enjoyed a lot working with him, was a pleasure. Some players stay your players because you work very very close, Auba is one of these players. We had a very close relationship.

"Always when we played him here with Arsenal, there was always straight away this close bond.

"They always stay your players in a way, Auba is one of these guys.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea, Romelu Lukaku, Premier League

Matthew Debono
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