Thomas Tuchel insists ‘this is not the moment’ to praise Romelu Lukaku for brace against Wolves

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 (AP)
(AP)

Thomas Tuchel refused to heap praise Romelu Lukaku after the striker’s two-goal performance against Wolves – raising fresh doubts about his future.

Lukaku moved clear of Kai Havertz as Chelsea’s leading scorer this season – taking his personal tally to 14 in all competitions.

That is despite making only four starts in the last 18 games.

Lukaku fired Chelsea into a 2-0 lead – but late goals from Francisco Trincao and Conor Coady saw the visitors secure a dramatic 2-2 draw.

Tuchel was offered the chance to compliment £97.5million club record signing Lukaku – but insisted the squandered points were his primary focus.

He said: “Okay, good performance, but this is for sure not the moment to talk about individual performances and praise individual players.

“We do this as a team and we lost points, crucial points. This is not the moment to praise individuals.”

Lukaku has been frustrated about his lack of first team action after being pushed behind Havertz in the pecking order.

He is determined to fight for his future at Chelsea - but there are serious doubts about whether he fits into Tuchel’s long-term plans.

Of immediate concern to Tuchel is his side’s crumbling form.

Chelsea have now won just one of their last five games and are now in danger of relinquishing third place.

Arsenal can move to within a point of them if they win their game in hand.

Tuchel bemoaned his team’s failure to see out the game, adding: “We knew about the risks and we need to be disciplined. We showed discipline over most moments of the first half. In situations we touch too much risk.

“We were 2-0 up and against we took too much risk. We invited the counter-attacks and big chances. Once you do this you lose confidence and invite the opponent to smell something is possible when it is unnecessary.”

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