Thomas Tuchel says ‘impatient’ Romelu Lukaku will be fined but talks up striker’s Chelsea comeback

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·4-min read
Thomas Tuchel says ‘impatient’ Romelu Lukaku will be fined but talks up striker’s Chelsea comeback
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  • Chelsea
    Chelsea
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Thomas Tuchel
    German association football manager and former player
  • Romelu Lukaku
    Romelu Lukaku
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|

Romelu Lukaku will be fined by Chelsea for his bombshell interview, with Thomas Tuchel saying the striker’s "impatience" at his stop-start return to the club prompted him to speak out.

Lukaku has apologised to Tuchel, as well as the club’s supporters and his teammates, and will return to the squad for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at home to Tottenham.

The club’s £97.5million record signing was dropped for the 2-2 draw with Liverpool for comments made in an interview given three weeks ago, in which he said he was "not happy" with his bit-part role under Tuchel and talked-up the possibility of returning to Inter Milan.

Tuchel says Lukaku will have to accept a fine from the club for the unsanctioned interview, with the Belgian reported to earn around £250,000-a-week.

"There will be some discipline action of course and he will accept it, of course," said Tuchel. "It happened what happened. It’s not a small thing, it’s not the biggest thing and it doesn’t make a comeback impossible, absolutely not.

"This is what we [will] prove now, but something happened and he will be fined and, of course, he needs to accept it."

In the interview with Sky Italia, Lukaku admitted frustration at Tuchel’s tactics but the head coach insisted he does not believe the forward is unhappy at Stamford Bridge and says their relationship remains unchanged.

"I think it’s impatience more than anything else," Tuchel said. "He is impatient. He wants big chances. But he is impatient and it is hard for him to accept that sometimes the grass does not grow faster when you pull it.

"Like in every transfer you have to accept there is a change of environment, a change of city, a change of culture, club, team-mates, playing style and league. He is not the first player to take some time but while he was doing it he was always scoring and we were still in the situations where we adapt to each other.

"It’s our job to bring out the best of him. This is what we do for every single player. It does not change if the player is expensive or is a free agent or is old or young.

"So of course in the end it’s on the player. We can just help him fulfil his potential and this is what we do. Sometimes it’s fast, sometimes it’s slow. Sometimes it’s a bit easier.

"Everybody does their very best – including myself – to bring out the full potential and we are still convinced that there is room for improvement.

"The most important thing is that he wants absolutely to do it. I feel a lot of impatience but I don’t feel unhappiness, not at all."

Asked if he had told Lukaku to bring any issues directly to him in future, Tuchel said: "Do I have to tell a 28 year old that it would be better to come to me?

"That would assume that he has a problem. Even if I read the interview a hundred times, I don’t see the problem. I don’t feel personally attacked.

"I don’t feel personally angry. Not at all. I thought it was more an issue towards the club and towards our supporters.

"And by that, all the players and everybody in the building who gives everything for the club. I can understand that people are offended. I was personally as a coach not so much. That is why I don’t see such a big change in our relationship.”

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Tuchel dropped Lukaku against Liverpool with the backing of the dressing room, and following talks with Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia and technical advisor Petr Cech.

The German said he was pleased to have resolved the situation amicably and without any "political interference".

"The way we dealt with it, Petr and Marina and me, very calm and very quick and very open, so easy to deal with it," he said.

"It was absolutely fine, I’m happy that we won a bit of time to calm things down, like in between the relationship between the player, and the possibility also to hear the player out and try to understand him better, and move on forward.

"The more the story went on I had a clear opinion and I was more than happy that it was ok for the club to go with it. I had the feeling it was really ok.

"I spoke clearly to the players. It is not only about my feeling and my idea.

"This is our job and it was very nice to see that we have an open and very close relationship and that we can find very quick solutions without any political interference and without putting every disturbing factor aside. Just isolate it on the moment and what is best for the moment. From there we went. It was a very nice to be a part of it.”

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