Thomas Tuchel is hoping that Romelu Lukaku’s brace against Wolves will inspire the Belgian striker to improve on his performance for Chelsea.
Lukaku is Chelsea’s top scorer this season, but his 14 goals haven’t lit up Stamford Bridge like many expected when he signed a £97.5 million deal in August. The former Manchester United attacker had not scored a Premier League goal in 2022 until his penalty against Wolves.
That was due in part to Kai Havertz earning a starting spot in the forward line, but there was no doubt that Chelsea performed better with the Germany international rather than his teammate. The speed and quality of Lukaku’s second goal against Jose Sa appeared to indicate a shift in gear for the 28-year-form, old’s while Tuchel may have hinted at another start.
“He is more than welcome to show it all the time,” said the former Borussia Dortmund coach. “He has been scoring goals since he was six years old. It is in his body and this is what I tell him all the time – to trust your body, trust your brain, trust your instincts.
“You know how to do it, you will never forget how to score but he needs a spark and hopefully this was it and he can continue. It is always a good moment to have you strike in confidence and in shape.
“For many strikers, once they start overthinking things, it’s not good because they should trust their instincts. When they do not get enough minutes they start thinking about their situation and it starts a cycle where it is hard to climb out. In general, he is very committed in training, he is committed as a team player. That is what we love about him. No big ego, no ego at all.”
It’s a good thing the summer addition has no ego, because, considering the style of Chelsea’s draw at the weekend, Tuchel was hesitant to compliment Lukaku despite his brace. Tuchel said on Tuesday that he should have offered more to the attacker, but that his forward could be satisfied with his performance.
“Of course, but it was simply not the moment. The disappointment was huge and in the end it’s a team effort and it’s a team sport,” added Tuchel. “I learned very early as a coach that your No9 – we said even in the academy – we want anybody in the team not to be happy if they don’t win, but if it is a 3-3 and your No9 scores three goals he may be the only one, okay he can go off with a smile because he did more or less his job.
“It’s a bit of an exaggeration, but he has the right to be happy for him personally because it is the most important thing for a striker to score and he knows that we are happy for that and everybody was happy that he could find a goal for us because it was very important. I do understand it and he gets the praise for it, but right after the game in the press conference, the disappointment was bigger.”