Romelu Lukaku’s return to Chelsea got off to the perfect start, but he is now in the midst of a goal drought, with debate raging about how to get the best out of the £97.5m man
Romelu Lukaku has hinted he agrees with Antonio Conte when it comes to the debate over how to get the best out of him.
The Belgian enjoyed two stunning seasons under the Italian, scoring 64 goals in 95 games for Inter Milan.
Lukaku got off to a blistering start back at Stamford Bridge, scoring on his second debut against Arsenal, a brace on his home Premier League bow and another in Europe.
Since then however, he has gone five games in all competitions without finding the net.
That has led to some discussion about how Tuchel is using his new star striker, with accusations that he looks isolated in the current setup.
Former Chelsea boss Conte claimed that his old side needed to allow Lukaku to drive from deeper in order to see him truly thrive.
“I don’t think Chelsea have quite figured out how to use him yet,” Conte said of Lukaku’s recent struggles in front of goal.
“He is a very specific striker. Bringing Lukaku into the box, he is dangerous. However, when he starts from midfield, he is incredibly quick.
“It is very difficult to find a player who is both a target man but can also run from midfield.”
When asked about Conte’s analysis, Tuchel replied: “He was obviously not on the telly after the Tottenham game.
“I don’t feel offended, he has every right. He is in the TV studio. I even saw it while I was showering before the match in the hotel.
“I saw him talking about us and I saw all the pictures between Romelu and our players from the Tottenham game. They were talking about the link-up play from Romelu, and how strong he is and how much he scored so they were praising him.
“I can see it but it is not a Romelu Lukaku problem.”
And now the player himself, whilst on international duty with Belgium, has suggested he would rather play with the ball at his feet and his face towards goal, rather than simply being utilised as a traditional target man.
“The way I’m built – I’m quite big – everybody thinks I’m a sort of target man: just holding up the ball and being a goal poacher,” he told UEFA.com.
“But I’ve never played that way and I hate it. My biggest strength is that I’m dangerous when I’m facing towards the goal, because that’s when I rarely make wrong choices.
“After I pass the ball, I know where I have to position myself in the box. I can do a bit of everything and in some games when I know there is a lot of space behind the defence, I play differently.
“The reason I’m so productive [in front of goal] is because I can do a bit of everything.”