Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has urged struggling striker Romelu Lukaku to find “peace on the pitch” in order to regain his scoring form, while also claiming that the club are going to do everything to help him.
The 28-year-old Belgium international was brought back to the club after a successful spell away from the Premier League to spearhead a title challenge for the Blues this season. Chelsea spent a whopping €115 million to secure his services from Inter Milan but the striker has not provided returns for that amount, scoring only five goals in 13 Premier League appearances.
Lukaku made matters worse after granting an interview to a Sky Sports Italy programme where he talked fondly about his time at Inter Milan, his distaste for the way Chelsea is currently set up, and his dream of returning to Italy. He also urged his former strike partner Lautaro Martinez to stay put at Inter Milan, which aggravated Chelsea’s fan base a lot.
Thomas Tuchel was asked about the striker’s performances after the Blues’ defeat at Manchester City, where he was a passenger in the side that turned out for the Blues.
“We do everything to help him. I think this is absolutely the wrong question because it is focusing on one player,” Tuchel replied.
“There will not be more pressure than he puts on himself and we need to find a mix between all the expectations, all the pressure and still to be relaxed enough to play your best game.
“It is not only about pushing, squeezing, not only about demands, but it is also about feeling peace and relaxed on the pitch. Things will fall in their place when we keep on working hard.”
Chelsea scoop awards at FIFA’s The Best awards ceremony
Elsewhere, Chelsea were the most represented team in FIFA’s The Best awards on Monday night. This time, however, the club had three award winners in Thomas Tuchel who bagged the award for The Best Men’s coach, Emma Hayes who bagged the award for The Best women’s coach, and Édouard Mendy who finally was recognised on the global scale with the award for The Best goalkeeper.
Four players across the club’s men’s and women’s teams also made it into the FIFPro World XI teams for both categories.
Unlike the Ballon d’Or ceremony, the awards for FIFA The Best are voted for by a journalist, club captains, fellow players, coaches and fans.
Jorginho and N’Golo Kante made it onto the FIFPro men’s team in recognition of their excellent 2021 while Magdalena Eriksson and Millie Bright made it into the Women’s 11, as voted by their fellow professionals.
Jorginho and Kanye were both key in Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League run as well as their national teams’ runs to the Euro 2020 title and UEFA Nations League title respectively.
Meanwhile, Emma Hayes’ Chelsea Women side were dependent on captain Eriksson and vice-captain Bright who led the team on the pitch to three domestic trophies and the UEFA Women’s Champions League final where they lost to Barcelona Femeni, whose captain Alexia Putellas bagged the award for The Best Women’s Player of 2021.