Why Lukaku is not in Tuchel’s favoured XI right now

Football journalist Dean Jones has explained why Romelu Lukaku does not feature in Thomas Tuchel’s best XI at the moment.

Lukaku became the Blues’ most expensive signing ever when he rejoined the club last summer, but he has failed to make the desired impact in his first season back at Stamford Bridge.

Recent Update on Lukaku?

After recording an interview with Sky Italia in December, in which he appeared to question Tuchel’s tactics, Lukaku was quickly reintegrated into the Chelsea squad and became a regular starter once again.

He went on to score in both the semi-final and final of the Club World Cup as Chelsea were crowned world champions last month.

However, in his first match after that tournament, he only touched the ball seven times against Crystal Palace as he struggled to get involved in the game.

This led to him being dropped by Tuchel for Chelsea’s Champions League clash with Lille three days later, and he did not start the side’s Carabao Cup final against Liverpool.

On Saturday, he failed to come off the bench as the west London club cruised to a 4-0 victory against Burnley at Turf Moor.

Jones’ Prediction about Lukaku

With Lukaku missing out consistently over the past couple of weeks, Jones believes it is clear that the 101-cap international is no longer central to Tuchel’s attack.

While speaking to the media, Jones said: “I think you can take from it that Lukaku’s not in Tuchel’s favoured first-team plans right now.”

Should Lukaku be starting more for Chelsea?
When Lukaku signed for Chelsea after two excellent seasons at Inter Milan, it seemed almost unthinkable that he would end up in this situation.

He is in a tricky spot at the moment, though, as he appears to be behind Kai Havertz in the pecking order for the lone striker role.

Havertz is flourishing in that position as well. He was arguably Chelsea’s main attacking threat in the Carabao Cup final, and was very unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet at Wembley. He then backed that up by bagging a brace at Burnley.

In terms of linking up with teammates, Havertz seems to have the edge over Lukaku as he is constantly bringing others into play, while Lukaku has often had difficulty combining with other players in the final third.

Therefore, despite Lukaku being Chelsea’s highest earner – he reportedly receives £325,000-per-week, it is hard to make a case that he should be starting ahead of Havertz, as things stand.

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