Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says Romelu Lukaku needs time to adapt to the physical demands of the Premier League, but insists he will not attempt to reinvent the striker.
The Belgium international returned to Stamford Bridge in a club-record transfer from reigning Serie A champions Inter in August.
However, the 28-year-old is yet to truly fire on all cylinders during his second spell with the Blues, amassing eight goals from 20 appearances in all competitions.
Lukaku was recently dropped by Tuchel following comments made in the Italian media, stating he was “not very happy with the situation” he finds himself in, while expressing a desire to return to the Nerazzurri one day.
However, the striker subsequently apologised to his manager and the fans, and was restored to the starting line-up for last week’s EFL Cup semi-final first-leg win over Tottenham.
And Tuchel is confident it is only a matter of time until everything clicks into place for his number nine.
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“Romelu had a huge physical impact in the game against Tottenham,” he said. “Maybe he wasn’t so spectacularly involved, but he was involved in playing a crucial part with his physical qualities.
“Once he adapts to the physical style of the league, there is no doubt he will have a huge impact.
“We will not reinvent his style or reinvent the player. He can simply be Romelu, and then we are all fine, and then he will score because this is what he always does.”
During his pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday’s second leg against Spurs, it was suggested that Timo Werner could provide a link for Lukaku similar to Lautaro Martinez at Inter last season.
Responding to the suggestion, Tuchel said: “He could be, but I see no reason that we should copy Inter.
“We have our style and enough possibilities. We can play with two strikers; we can play 3-5-2; we have the possibility to play three strikers.
“We played a 4-4-2 against Tottenham in the first leg. I don’t mean it in a harsh way; the players need to show they are good enough to start.
“We are not inventing new stuff to make players better or happier. They have all it takes. It’s on them to show it.”
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