Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted that
some of his stars are yet to build a connection with
club record signing Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian returned to Stamford Bridge in the
summer window, signing from Inter Milan in a deal
Lukaku got off to a stunning start back in English
football, netting three times in as many Premier
League fixtures, as well as scoring the winner in the
Blues’ opening Champions League group game.
Since then, he has gone four games in all
competitions without a goal and has been visibly
frustrated during their two defeats this week.
Lukaku was ineffective against Manchester City
during the loss at Stamford Bridge, while he also
failed to influence the game against Juventus.
And speaking ahead of their clash with Southampton,
Tuchel has suggested that Mason Mount and Mateo
Kovacic are the only team-mates that have been
effectively linking up with him.
Asked if Lukaku looking isolated was to do with him
still adjusting to new surroundings, Tuchel said: “Yes
and no. He was fully involved in the first game
against Arsenal, the second half against Tottenham
he was involved in creating chances for Timo Werner,
Mason in the first half.
“I think that football right now is about connections,
Romelu I feel has a strong connection with Mason
Mount and Mateo Kovacic.
They look for each other and have an understanding,
everybody else maybe lacks it a bit so they need to
learn and understand and adapt, create better of course.”
The German boss continued: “Like I said, we have
games where he was fully involved but now we have
games like against Manchester City where of course
he was isolated, City made him that, our transition did
that as well. There will always be matches like this.
There is no place to go.
“Sometimes you have these games so maybe this
one is not a reference game. We will talk maybe
totally different if he had scored in the 80th minute
[against Juventus] which was a chance he normally scores.
It is right but nothing major to worry about. We are aware of it.”
Mason Mount has missed both of Chelsea’s defeats
this season, but is back in training and could be
involved against the Saints.
“Mason is in the squad, Mason is back, it was not a
long injury, was a minor injury, and we’re happy that
he’s back,” Tuchel confirmed.
Then it’s obvious, a given that he’s nominated and
he’s happy to be nominated and will give everything
to do his best for his England squad.”
On how much his side missed the midfielder, the
Chelsea manager added: “We need to be careful.
He had a rough time at Tottenham.
“It is not on single players.
Of course, we want to have Mason on the pitch and
we know the energy he gives and we miss him but we
cannot start reproducing performances on the
thought of players who are missing.”