Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku is no use to anyone coming off the bench and has to be moved on in the summer, former boss Glenn Hoddle has revealed.
Lukaku started on the bench during Thursday night’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford. Blues boss Thomas Tuchel again opted to go with Kai Havertz and Timo Werner in attack. He did come on with 20 minutes to go but made zero impact.
Cristiano Ronaldo had just cancelled out Marcos Alonso’s strike and Chelsea needed a winner. However Lukaku touched the ball just four times and did not register a shot on goal.
The performance left both Hoddle and former Liverpool striker Michael Owen feeling something needs to be done. And a move away is the solution if Lukaku will not be starting games.
“It is a problem, he is not a sub, he needs to play”, Hoddle told Optus Sport. “He looks like he physically needs to play back-to-back games to get in the groove. He has got to be moved on if it is not suiting the way that Tuchel wants to play.
“I think he is going to move him on I really do. Whether he needs another striker to come in and whether there is the finances to do it, there are all those scenarios behind the scenes.”
The statistics say it all. Lukaku has scored just five goals in 23 Premier League games. Only 13 of those games have been starts. And the Belgium international has started just one Premier League game in the last eight.
It is a far cry from the start of the season when Lukaku was seen as the final piece in the jigsaw. Chelsea splashed out big to get him on board but after a promising start things have gone pear shaped. Owen says they are now back to square one with their need for a world-class No.9.
Chelsea off to a flyer
“They started the season so well and Lukaku against Arsenal he was absolutely brilliant. I remember lots of people saying ‘I can’t see Chelsea getting beat in this league this season’,” Owen told Optus Sport.
“All of a sudden it has just undone and now come the end of the season we’re all questioning if he is the right player. So back to the drawing board for Chelsea in that position.”
If Chelsea do move Lukaku on, Owen says they will have to take a big hit on him.
“They paid a lot of money, they won’t get that back,” he added. “They will do well to get half of it back. That could be a little bit painful for them.”