Romelu Lukaku hits the Chelsea FC training pitch ahead of Arsenal London derby

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·2-min read
Romelu Lukaku hits the Chelsea FC training pitch ahead of Arsenal London derby
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Romelu Lukaku hit the training pitch for Chelsea on Tuesday ahead of a potential second debut for the Blues against Arsenal this weekend.

Chelsea posted a video of Lukaku at the club’s Cobham training base on Tuesday afternoon, tagging the £97.5million club-record signing with the caption: “First training session pending.”

Lukaku, who returns to Chelsea after seven years having played for Everton, Manchester United and Inter Milan, missed Saturday’s 3-0 win against Crystal Palace due to him needing to quarantine after his arrival from Italy.

However, Lukaku is expected to immediately take his place at the point of Chelsea’s attack, with Tuchel planning to build his forward line around the Belgium international, making it clear that the rest of his strike options are in a fight to play alongside the 28-year-old.

Chelsea face Arsenal in a Premier League London derby at the Emirates on Sunday, and coach Thomas Tuchel said of Lukaku’s potential involvement: “We will prepare him to be ready for Arsenal and hopefully he can be on the pitch.

“We got the number one striker in and we want to have him on the pitch. This is very clear. When you do a transfer of this volume we are absolutely sure we want to have him on the pitch.

“I think he will take pressure off the shoulders of Kai [Havertz], Timo [Werner] and Christian [Pulisic] because Romelu is the kind of personality to take responsibility and I think he will lift the pressure off the young guys’ shoulders.”

Lukaku explained following his move that Tuchel expects him to be a leader in the squad: “The conversation was really clear from him, that he wants me to be a presence and a leader in the team. I have to just use all my abilities to make sure I can help the team as much as possible.

“My role will depend on what the game plan is and what the boss wants me to do. If he wants me to be a focal point or if he wants me to attack the spaces in behind, I can do it. The two years in Italy helped me master all the facets of the game for a striker and now I’m ready.

Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea FC/Twitter)
Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea FC/Twitter)

“I like the system that we play and I’m very flexible. I can play as a two or by myself and I’m used to the system because it’s what we play with the Belgian national team so I don’t need much time to adapt.

“It’s just knowing the strengths of my team-mates in important positions and knowing what we do off the ball, then I can do the rest.”

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