Tuchel believes ‘mentally tired’ Lukaku has overplayed

Date published: Tuesday 19th October 2021 3:04 - Jason Soutar

Thomas Tuchel after substituting off Romelu Lukaku

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel believes Romelu Lukaku is “mentally tired” as he has played too much football.

Lukaku played 44 times last season as Inter Milan won the Serie A title before representing Belgium at Euro 2020, making five appearances.

After a short summer break, the 28-year-old signed for Chelsea. He was instantly put in the starting XI against Arsenal, scoring 15 minutes into his second Blues debut.

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He hit the ground running at Stamford Bridge, also scoring a brace against Aston Villa before netting against Zenit in the Champions League.

However, his header against Zenit on September 14 is his most recent goal as he has gone the last six club matches without scoring.

Ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League encounter against Malmo on Wednesday, Tuchel was asked if his players are still adjusting to having Lukaku in the team.

“This will increase every day because we are in the process of adapting to each other,” the German head coach said.

“In the very moment in my opinion I feel Romelu has overplayed, I think he has played in too many competitions over the summer, too many with the national team and now he’s played in the Nations League.

“He is a fantastic athlete and such a competitive guy, he digs in deep and he wants to win these things, he wants to be out there and win so I know how much he wanted a good outcome at the European Championship with Belgium and the Nations League, it means a lot to him to play for his country so he takes it really serious if it does not work well. He puts it on his shoulders, he thinks about it and reflects about it.

“I feel that he is a bit mentally tired, not that hugely that we have a concern but he’s not like fully enjoying without having second or third thoughts. He will find his rhythm once he finds things a bit easier.

“It’s the same for some other players too, they struggle too, they have a lot of weight for their countries and they love it, they are competitors.”

Meanwhile, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger have bolstered Chelsea’s defensive options ahead of Wednesday’s clash.

The centre-back pair missed Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League win at Brentford, but were both back in training on Monday.


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