Thomas Tuchel believes Romelu Lukaku is ‘mentally tired’ amid questions over the forward’s form at Chelsea.
Lukaku has been a target for criticism this season and saw the scrutiny reach new levels after an anonymous showing against Crystal Palace last weekend.
The Belgium international set a new Premier League record after having just seven touches across the entire 90 minutes at Selhurst Park.
The 28-year-old was then left out of the side for the midweek win over Lille in the Champions League and Tuchel has discussed Lukaku’s failure to find his form this season.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s Carabao Cup final clash with Liverpool this weekend, the German believes the £97.5m record signing is suffering from mental fatigue.
“He played a lot of matches,” Tuchel told his pre-match press conference. ”We had a similar situation with Jorginho, one of our captains, because we feel him a little mentally tired. The focus on Romelu that I understand but it’s a similar situation as Jorginho.
“The decisions are made clear and the players accept. Once you play for Chelsea, you accept the team goes first and that’s why there are no hard feelings, not from Romelu or from me.”
Chelsea are searching for a sixth League Cup success when the west Londoners take on Liverpool at Wembley on Sunday, as the Blues look for their second silverware in the space of a month after lifting the Club World Cup on February 12.