Ferdinand tells Chelsea to give 103kg ‘goal machine’ another chance under Potter
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand thinks Chelsea need to bring back Romelu Lukaku into the fold next season if he can prove his fitness.
The Blues have spent around £600m on new players over the last couple of transfer windows but one of the main criticisms of their recruitment has been the lack of investment in a centre-forward.
Lukaku is currently on a season-long loan at Inter Milan with the Belgium international only managing six Serie A starts this season.
He was on the scoresheet on Wednesday in the Champions League last 16 as he scored the only goal of the game in their 1-0 first leg victory over Porto.
Lukaku was only named on the bench against Porto despite scoring against Udinese at the weekend too with Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta revealing the striker was “carrying 103kg on his shoulders” and not ready to start.
Ferdinand discussed Lukaku’s weight on BT Sport‘s coverage of the Champions League and reckons he could be an asset to Chelsea next season.
“I played at 86 kilos and I’m about 96 now,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport.
“I spoke to him just when he signed for Chelsea, he’d left Inter and obviously left [Antonio] Conte. One of the main things that you could see that he was delighted about was his physical condition, which was driven by the manager – Conte at the time.
“If he can get back fit again, this guy has proven he is a goalscorer, simple as that.”
Ferdinand added: “I think new manager, give him a chance. I think he’s got no-one in there that he obviously trusts at the moment. Aubameyang isn’t even in the European squad. This guy is just a goal machine, he just knows how to score.
“Okay, he’s not fit, he’s carrying a bit more weight than normal – or what he’d like, and what the club would like. But he still comes on and scores two goals in the last two games.”
Fellow pundit Owen Hargreaves also doubts his career at Chelsea is over, he said: “No, no chance. Especially with how much they’ve spent, and they still don’t have a centre-forward.
“They’ve got a really good one, just get him fit. He’s proven, Rio’s right, his body of work shows he scores goals so why would you not try and integrate him back in the summer.”
On Marotta’s comments about Lukaku’s weight, Hargreaves continued: “80 for me. But, to be fair, you add five kilos to that and you’re a different player aren’t you. So to think he’s playing at 15 to 17 kilos more than Rio, I mean that is remarkable. It’s amazing that he is able to actually play!
“When he was at his best under Conte he looked a little bit lighter and he was obviously better for it.”
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