Arsenal great Thierry Henry has questioned the wisdom of Chelsea’s signing of Romelu Lukaku after the forward was left out of last night’s Champions League win over Lille.
Lukaku put in a shocking performance during Saturday’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace, managing just seven touches in the game, the fewest of any player to play 90 minutes in the Premier League since records began.
Thomas Tuchel reacted by leaving the striker on the bench at Stamford Bridge, with Kai Havertz instead leading the line and opening the scoring, while Lukaku did not even get on as a substitute and now faces a battle to win back his place ahead of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.
The incident is the latest in what has hardly been a seamless return to Chelsea for Lukaku and Henry, who has worked closely with him in the past as a coach with the Belgian national team, believes it is a marriage that looks unlikely to work out.
“Right from the start, I raised a question to myself, would he fit into this team?,” Henry said, working as a pundit on CBS for last night’s game.
“For Rom to adapt to the way Chelsea play, it takes time, it’s not an easy one.
“Is it normal that he only has seven touches [against Crystal Palace]? No, that’s also not normal, regardless, if the coach likes you or not. That shouldn’t happen.
“They need to move forward on that, but it’s a tough one to read. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know how that happens in 90 minutes. But what’s the solution?
“The solution is for him to find a solution to make sure he can adapt to the way they play.
“They like to press, to be active and to change the front three. He likes to stay in the middle, so it makes it very difficult for him to adapt to the situation.
“But again, why did you go and get him?”
© Evening Standard