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Lukaku sent shockwaves across Stamford Bridge on Thursday evening after saying he 'wasn't happy' in an interviewed recorded three weeks ago.
The 28-year-old vowed to 'remain professional' in his interview but in the same breath, said he'd like to return to Inter Milan at some point in the future.
Chelsea posted a message to fans on Saturday and despite being a club-record £97.5 million player, Lukaku was tucked away out of the limelight.
Happy New Year, Chelsea fans! 💙🎉 pic.twitter.com/a62kJkCfTW— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 31, 2021
Taking centre stage instead are N'Golo Kante, Reece James, Thiago Silva and Champions League final goalscorer Kai Havertz.
Lukaku has only spent half of the year as a Blue but supporters noticed his small role compared to the rest.
One commented: "Admin has done Lukaku dirty here."
A second added: "Shouldn't have put him there at all."
While a third then said: "I spent a good five minutes looking for Lukaku."
Lukaku enjoyed his time in Serie A and helped Inter Milan to their first Serie A title in a decade last season.
It came after a turbulent few years at Manchester United which saw many start to doubt the Belgium international's quality at the top level.
His return to England has seen him score five goals in 13 appearances while suffering from injuries and battling Covid.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has been forced to tweak formations this season due to injury and it didn't sit well with Lukaku.
He told Sky Sport Italia: “Physically I’m fine, even better than before. After two years in Italy, in which I worked a lot at Inter with trainers and nutritionists, I am physically fine.
“But I'm not happy with the situation, this is normal. I think the coach has chosen to play with another system, I just have to not give up and continue to work and be a professional.
“I am not happy with the situation, but I am a worker and I must not give up.”
Chelsea are currently second in the Premier League and take on third place Liverpool on Sunday, with these comments coming at an awkward time for Tuchel.
“We don’t like it because it brings noise that we don’t need, but on the other side we don’t want to make noise, it’s very easy to make headlines or shorten lines,” Tuchel admitted.
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