Carlton Palmer believes Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku has run his course as a Chelsea player.
Speaking to talkSPORT, football pundit Carlton Palmer believes that Chelsea star Romelu Lukaku has no future at Stamford Bridge.
The Belgian international returned to London after a scintillating spell with Inter Milan, where he led them to a first Scudetto in 11 years. The prolific spell at the Giuseppe Meazza prompted Chelsea to pay a club-record fee to bring him back to the Bridge.
While he scored on his second Blues debut against Arsenal, he has struggled to establish himself as a regular scorer capable of leading the club’s attack. Palmer believes Thomas Tuchel has not helped matters further by his handling of the 28-year-old.
“I don’t think he’s got a future under Tuchel, I really don’t.”
Lukaku has made 35 appearances for Chelsea this season, scoring 12 goals and assisting two more. While the numbers are not bad, it is rather underwhelming given the money spent securing the Belgian international.
The 28-year-old is a physically strong player who can thrive as a target man. However, Tuchel’s decision to try and alter the player’s strengths to cater to the team’s style has backfired. That is how Palmer sees it.
“I just don’t understand why a manager would sign a player for that amount of money and then try and change the way he plays the game.”
Palmer added that Lukaku thrives in playing off the last man’s shoulder and likes to use his pace to perfection. By denying him the same setup at Chelsea, the Blues might be missing out on utilising the Belgian’s strengths to the maximum.
“You’ve seen the way Lukaku plays, he plays on the last man’s shoulder, he likes the ball to come quick and early down the sides to use his pace.”
Palmer’s comments are certainly hard-hitting and not far from the truth. Lukaku’s ability is unquestionable, but given the way Chelsea play, he was always going to be a bad fit. Just why the club chose to go big on him and spend a club-record fee to land his services is debatable.
It remains to be seen if Tuchel will shelve his original plans and cater to Lukaku’s strengths. Just what the German manager will choose to do is anyone’s guess.