As the winter window transfer takes shape, former Liverpool boss Graeme Souness has urged Chelsea to sell their embattled striker Romelu Lukaku.
Lukaku was dropped for yesterday’s draw with Liverpool after an interview slamming his lack of game-time at Stamford Bridge and seemingly pining for a return to Inter Milan.
The quotes left Chelsea fans livid, with manager Thomas Tuchel dropping him for arguably his side’s biggest game of the season.
Before kickoff, Souness said: “I can’t tell you something worse a player could do at this moment in the season.
“To come out and say, basically, ‘I don’t want to be here anymore, I don’t want to play with the players I’m playing with anymore’ and to question the manager…
“That damages Chelsea going forward – it has to. I think they’re damaged after today.
“If Liverpool turn up and beat Chelsea it compounds the problem and the spotlight is on the manager, which I think is outrageous.”
Souness continued: “We’re trying to understand where his head’s been to come up with such a ridiculous and damaging statement.
“We’ve all played with players who need to be training hard every day and playing every week to get the best out of them.
“Lukaku is a big, powerful man and we’ve seen him put weight on previously.
“I would think his disappointment, and the reason this statement has come out, is because he’s not come straight back in, starting games and playing 90 minutes.”
Souness added “I don’t think anyone’s at fault here. I think he’s a player that has to train every day and play every week to get to the level of scoring goals… it is the hardest job on the pitch.
“[Lukaku] has come back, he’s not gone into the team and he’s come out with this nonsense, which is totally disrespectful.
“He’s 29 years old, he’s not 19. He should’ve known better that this statement damages the football club enormously.
“It’s like walking into the dressing room and saying ‘I don’t want to be with you anymore’.
“I’d be like, ‘well if you don’t like it, there’s the f***ing door. On you go’.
“He’s more than crossed the line. He has to apologise to his team-mates.
“It’s so offside, it beggars belief. He’s got to stand in front of his mates and say [sorry].”