Thomas Tuchel has explained how the signing of Romelu Lukaku will ‘lift the pressure’ on Chelsea’s forward options.
Chelsea confirmed the club record signing of Lukaku from Inter Milan last week, securing a £97.5m deal to bring the Belgium international back to Stamford Bridge.
Tuchel had been keen to reinforce his options at centre-forward and believes the signing of Lukaku can help ‘lift the pressure off the shoulders’ of Chelsea’s current attacking options, describing the marquee arrival as player who ‘loves responsibility’.
“Every player wants to have a regular position he can fight for, I know this very well,” he told the club website. “But at the same time it can be also a huge advantage to be able to play in more than one position, because then you can be the alternative for more minutes. So there’s an up-side and a down-side.
“I’m very happy with Timo, Christian and Kai because they have put a lot of effort and intensity into the team.
“With the addition of Romelu. We get the number-one striker and we want to have him on the pitch. This is very clear. If you do this kind of transfer, we are absolutely sure we want to have him on the pitch, but I think he will lift the pressure off the shoulders of the young guys, from Kai, Timo and Christian, because Romelu is the kind of personality who loves responsibility.
“I think we have now with Romelu the chance also to play with two strikers, like they did at Inter with him, or to continue with three strikers. We will see now how this works out and we will find a solution for the players around him.”
Lukaku missed the west London side’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace as the forward completes his period of quarantine, though Tuchel has revealed that the 28-year-old is in contention to face Arsenal this weekend.
“We expect Romelu to finish quarantine in time to be able to join team training on Tuesday, because Monday is our day off. So we will try to prepare him to play against Arsenal and hopefully he can be on the pitch.”