SOCCER

Tuchel reveals Lukaku quality that helped convince Chelsea on £97.5m purchase


The ex-Inter hitman chose to return to Stamford Bridge this summer after failing to make his mark there as a youngster

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is delighted to welcome Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge, stating that the forward’s intense desire to return and make his mark at the club was a key factor in his £97.5 million ($133m) move.

The Belgium international could make his first appearance since signing from Inter at the weekend against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. 

Big things are expected of him after shining in Serie A last season, and Tuchel has full confidence that he will make a big impression. 

What was said?

“We could feel that he tried hard and we could reach already a point which is very important and has maybe not been mentioned – how much does the player want to play for Chelsea?” Tuchel explained to reporters when asked about Lukaku.

“How much of the story does he want to write at this club? Is this the next step on his way to (somewhere else)? Or is this like ‘yes, I would love to but I am happy where I am’ or is this ‘yes, this comes at the right moment and I will actually walk to you’. And this is what Romelu absolutely transported to us.

“There were not many names and one of the absolute top solutions was Romelu.

“In the end, we can only push for things that people have and Romelu brings something to the squad on which we are absolutely aware and convinced by. So at the moment it is more fun than pressure. It looks like the perfect fit and it’s our job of course to bring out the best of this group.”

Second time lucky? 

Lukaku made little impression during his first spell with Chelsea, having joined as a teenager from Anderlecht in 2011. 

The striker failed to hit the net in 15 appearances in all competitions for the Londoners and spent much of his three-year stint away from the club on loan spells at West Bromwich Albion and Everton. 

Both those moves proved successes, with Everton opting to make the transfer permanent at the start of the 2014-15 season. 

Lukaku went on to become a favourite at Goodison Park and, while he did not enjoy the success many had hoped for during his subsequent stay at Manchester United, he still held his own during a tough period for them. A brilliant haul of 64 goals in 95 games for Inter, meanwhile, showed the 28-year-old merits a place among football’s attacking elite.

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