Romelu Lukaku enjoyed a greeting, via claps, from Stamford Bridge’s home crowd for yesterday’s Carabao Cup clash with Tottenham Hotspur. So, days after his controversial interview stating his unhappiness at the club, the Belgian international returned to the starting XI. Not only that, but also – Chelsea fans applauded Lukaku despite his wish for football transfers.
The Belgian found himself under fire at Stamford Bridge after he aired his grievances in an interview in Italy. Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel consequently dropped the forward for the 2-2 draw with Liverpool.
That’s because Tuchel wants to move on from this interview, accepting that replaying the interview is a waste of time.
Chelsea Fans Applauded Lukaku despite His Wish for Football Transfers
Therefore, Lukaku played the full 90 minutes as Chelsea beat Spurs 2-0. And while he did not make the scoresheet, fans were still willing to put the past behind them. They instead returned his applause at Stamford Bridge.
Quizzed on bringing back Lukaku, Tuchel told Sky Sports: “[To play] against his old coach [Antonio Conte]… he is our player, this was the plan, but it was also the plan last match and that didn’t work out!
“We can watch this interview 100 times, it will not get better and that will not make it better.
“We can shift our focus, we accept it happened and we have enough reasons to stay positive and protect him now because he is a key player and we want him to be a key player.”
Reflecting on Lukaku’s performance, Tuchel added: “Good, absolutely happy, I was pretty sure he was not affected. Even the last days he seemed relaxed, fine with the situation and mentally moved on.
“Romelu can handle pressure and adversity, it was a good performance, he contributed a lot to our defensive set up and had chances.”