How Lukaku went from Thomas Tuchel’s dream jigsaw piece to the Premier League’s greatest ever flop

Simply 10 months and 9 days since his dream £97.5million homecoming, the second one bankruptcy of Romelu Lukaku’s doomed Chelsea tale is as excellent as over.

Thomas Tuchel used to be supposed to have discovered the lacking piece of his Blues jigsaw when the Belgian striker, contemporary from inspiring Inter Milan to their first Scudetto in a decade, returned to west London for a club-record charge final August.

However now, not up to a 12 months later, Inter are at the verge of re-signing the Premier League’s 2nd most costly participant on mortgage for peanuts after a disastrous first season again at Stamford Bridge. 

Just 10 months after returning for £97.5m, Romelu Lukaku is already on his way out of Chelsea

Simply 10 months after returning for £97.5m, Romelu Lukaku is already on his means out of Chelsea

Lukaku is set to rejoin Inter Milan on loan after a disastrous season back at Stamford Bridge

Lukaku is about to rejoin Inter Milan on mortgage after a disastrous season again at Stamford Bridge

So how did it come to this?

Whilst the blame does not lie fully at his door, with Tuchel additionally partially accountable, it’s onerous to argue that Lukaku wasn’t the architect of his personal downfall in SW6. And forward of his departure, Sportsmail has taken a better have a look at why his 2nd Chelsea stint went so dramatically mistaken.

There have been no crimson flags or alarm bells by any means when Lukaku swaggered again into Stamford Bridge as an Italian champion final August. Actually, it used to be relatively the other.

He had in the past departed Chelsea as a boy in 2014, leaving to enroll in Everton following a a success mortgage spell at Goodison Park, but after scoring 193 objectives in 357 video games for the Toffees, Manchester United and Inter, and successful Serie A with the latter, he returned as a seasoned, established centre-forward on the top of his powers.

‘I’m glad and blessed to be again at this glorious membership,’ Lukaku stated on the time. ‘The connection I’ve with this membership way such a lot to me, as you recognize. I’ve supported Chelsea as a child and now to be again and check out to assist them win extra titles is a fantastic feeling.’ 

There were no red flags when the Belgian striker got his second Blues stint up and running

There have been no crimson flags when the Belgian striker were given his 2nd Blues stint up and working

He initially scored four goals in as many games to hit the ground running back in west London

He to start with scored 4 objectives in as many video games to hit the bottom working again in west London

Lukaku's return looked like turning Chelsea from top-four regulars to serious title contenders

Lukaku’s go back appeared like turning Chelsea from top-four regulars to critical identify contenders

Thomas Tuchel appeared to have found the final piece of his Blues jigsaw in attack

Thomas Tuchel looked as if it would have discovered the overall piece of his Blues jigsaw in assault

It had simplest been 3 months since Tuchel’s males gained the Champions League however the normal consensus used to be that signing Lukaku would whole their transformation from top-four regulars to identify contenders. Regardless of their luck on the again finish of 2020-21, deploying Kai Havertz as a false 9 used to be no longer noticed because the long-term solution to hassle Manchester Town and Liverpool. 

Just about £100million used to be due to this fact spent on Lukaku, and to start with their seismic funding seemed justified when his first 4 outings introduced as many objectives, together with a debut strike away at opponents Arsenal. First of all, the transfer seemed a fit made in heaven for each events.

But Lukaku and Chelsea’s honeymoon duration temporarily started to fizzle out, with a function at house to Zenit St Petersburg within the Champions League on September 14 proving his final till he scored in opposition to the similar opposition 3 months later.

After an preliminary run of six fits with no function had brought about a slight fear, Lukaku injured his ankle all the way through a conflict with Malmo on October 20 and used to be pressured to spend the following month at the sidelines. It might sooner or later mark the start of his dying as a Chelsea participant.

The 6ft 3in frontman returned on the finish of November however didn’t slot immediately again into Tuchel’s beginning plans. As an alternative, reverting again to Havertz as a false 9 had introduced 20 objectives and 6 wins in seven video games, that means he had no aim of messing with a successful system.

Lukaku used to be made to attend till December 12 for his subsequent get started, when he were given again at the scoresheet away at Zenit, sooner than Covid-19 once more dominated him out of motion in mid-December. 

But an injury sustained at the end of October marked the beginning of his downfall last season

However an harm sustained on the finish of October marked the start of his downfall final season

Despite returning a month later, Lukaku failed to work his way back into Tuchel's starting XI

Regardless of returning a month later, Lukaku didn’t paintings his long ago into Tuchel’s beginning XI

By the point he recovered, Chelsea’s season used to be hitting a snag, with a sequence of Covid circumstances and accidents derailing their identify bid and permitting Town and Liverpool to drag transparent. That they had simplest claimed two wins out of 5 when a go back and forth to Aston Villa got here on Boxing Day, and after moving into stage on the smash Tuchel offered his big-money signing for the second one 1/2. 

What performed out over the following 45 mins appeared like a turning level in Lukaku’s season. He first edged Chelsea in entrance, glancing house an important header to wreck his three-month Premier League drought, sooner than racing via on function and successful a penalty for Jorginho to transform past due on.

The £97.5million guy used to be again to his sensible, bullying highest and, as we neared the second one 1/2 of the season, there have been prime hopes that he may just kick on and revel in a powerful finish to the marketing campaign – particularly when he adopted it up with a 2nd function in as many video games at house to Brighton 3 days later.

On the other hand, simply as he used to be starting to regain Tuchel’s believe at the pitch, Lukaku had already set the wheels in movement for an explosive transfer which might rock Chelsea’s season and produce him proper again to sq. one.

He finally got back up and running with an influential performance off the bench at Aston Villa

He in the end were given again up and working with an influential efficiency off the bench at Aston Villa

Lukaku followed it up with another goal against Brighton, but behind the scenes he had set the wheels in motion for an explosive move

Lukaku adopted it up with some other function in opposition to Brighton, however at the back of the scenes he had set the wheels in movement for an explosive transfer

‘Bodily I’m superb. However I am not pleased with the placement at Chelsea,’ Lukaku informed Sky Italia on the finish of December. ‘Tuchel has selected to play with some other machine – I would possibly not surrender, I will be skilled. It’s not that i am pleased with the placement however I’m skilled – and I will’t surrender now.

‘I actually, truly from the ground of my center hope to return again to Inter, no longer on the finish of my profession, however whilst I’m nonetheless on the stage to win extra trophies.’

Performed sooner than his revival away at Villa, a disgruntled Lukaku wondered Tuchel’s determination to go away him out of the facet and flirted with former employers at Inter in a bombshell interview which irked his supervisor and infuriated Chelsea supporters.

The Stamford Bridge devoted wasted no time in berating their checklist signing, who had poured fuel onto a fireplace which looked to be fading. The feedback had been noticed as disrespectful, divisive and disloyal to the membership, that means it did not take them lengthy to name for his departure.

Much more damningly for Lukaku, Purpose reported on the time that Sky Italia had launched the interview 3 weeks after it used to be first recorded. This implies he had hit out at Tuchel and expressed his sadness whilst Chelsea trailed Premier League leaders Town via an insignificant two issues – under no circumstances a dark surroundings to be in. 

His bombshell interview with Sky Italia, in which he questioned Tuchel and hinted at a return to Inter, was released at the end of December - three weeks after being recorded

His bombshell interview with Sky Italia, wherein he wondered Tuchel and hinted at a go back to Inter, used to be launched on the finish of December – 3 weeks after being recorded

Lukaku had put himself sooner than the crew. His interview ruled headlines and disrupted Tuchel’s arrangements at a time when all consideration will have to were centered against catching Town and Liverpool. As an alternative, the Blues boss had no selection however to drop his in-form superstar when the latter visited west London on January 2.

Tuchel used to be simply creating a observation via exiling him for that fixture, appearing Lukaku who used to be boss and reminding his crew that such antics will at all times be reprimanded. As soon as he had served his punishment, although, the outspoken striker used to be again in his beginning XI.

Regardless of his debatable interview Lukaku used to be introduced an not likely 2nd likelihood via Tuchel, who began him of their subsequent 4 league outings in opposition to Manchester Town, Brighton, Tottenham and Crystal Palace. Chelsea registered two victories and took seven issues out of 12, but Lukaku went with no unmarried function involvement in 250 mins of soccer.

The nadir of his season from a taking part in viewpoint got here away at Palace on February 19, when he broke the checklist for the bottom selection of touches via an outfield participant in a Premier League fit with a measly seven. Even if Tuchel had equipped him with a transparent vote of self assurance, it used to be turning into transparent that Lukaku may just no longer have compatibility into his machine or gel along with his fellow attackers.  

Tuchel dropped his big-money recruit from the squad for their next fixture against Liverpool

Tuchel dropped his big-money recruit from the squad for his or her subsequent fixture in opposition to Liverpool

Though when he returned to the side it was clear Lukaku no longer suited Chelsea's system

Even though when he returned to the facet it used to be transparent Lukaku not suited Chelsea’s machine

He broke the record for fewest number of touches in a Premier League game at Crystal Palace

He broke the checklist for fewest selection of touches in a Premier League recreation at Crystal Palace

‘What can I do? I do not know. We need to care for it,’ Tuchel stated after the sport.

‘The information is in the market and the knowledge speaks a undeniable language. He used to be no longer concerned about our recreation, it is every now and then like this with strikers. If they fight a bit of with self-confidence, to seek out the gap and to become involved in opposition to a excellent defensive facet, it may be like this.’  

One month previous to that sorry afternoon at Selhurst Park he have been noticed arguing with Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech all the way through a 1-1 draw in opposition to Brighton. As they left the pitch at half-time, Ziyech coated his mouth whilst engaged in a heated dialogue with Lukaku, who gestured animatedly and looked as if it would call for the ball into his toes. 

‘It is standard that they communicate, it is standard that they aren’t glad, it is standard that they do not find it irresistible if we are saying that we wish extra from them, it is standard,’ Tuchel stated after the pair’s on-pitch row. 

However, the war of words symbolised Lukaku’s loss of concord along with his team-mates, which might save you him scoring some other Premier League function till Would possibly.

If studies from soccer journalist Fabrizio Romano are right kind, Lukaku had already made up his thoughts about leaving Chelsea when he squabbled with Ziyech at the south coast. 

The previous Inter guy is claimed to have angled for a go back to Milan in January, environment his points of interest on a swift SW6 go out amid the talk of his Sky Italia interview. After all a wintry weather switch used to be no longer conceivable, however 3 months later Nerazzurri boss Simone Inzaghi gained an enchanting name.

Consistent with Corriere dello Recreation, Inzaghi replied the telephone to a curious Lukaku at 8:30am on April 5, the Inter supervisor’s birthday. And after wishing him many glad returns he grew to become the dialog to a possible San Siro go back.

Lukaku reportedly made contact with Inter boss Simone Inzaghi over a potential return in April

Lukaku reportedly made touch with Inter boss Simone Inzaghi over a possible go back in April

One day later he then missed two glorious chances as Chelsea were beaten by Real Madrid

At some point later he then overlooked two superb probabilities as Chelsea had been overwhelmed via Actual Madrid

The wantaway ahead reportedly requested Inzaghi what it will take for him to rejoin his crew, in a dialog which came about 24 hours sooner than Chelsea’s pivotal Champions League quarter-final first leg in opposition to Actual Madrid.

With the Blues trailing 3-1 in that first leg, Lukaku got here off the bench and overlooked two superb probabilities from shut vary to scale back the deficit forward in their go back and forth to Spain. In hindsight, it’s transparent to peer his thoughts used to be in other places.

Apart from objectives in regimen FA Cup victories over Luton and Middlesbrough, in addition to in opposition to inferior opposition on the Membership International Cup, Lukaku had no longer produced a significant strike since December as we reached the overall month of the marketing campaign. But extremely, it used to be in Would possibly when he produced an surprising past due revival, scoring 3 objectives in as many league video games to propel himself again into favour forward of an FA Cup last fight with Liverpool.

Possibly extra telling concerning the scarce choices in Tuchel’s assault, Lukaku earned himself a get started at Wembley in opposition to the chances. Even though in what perhaps proved the overall nail within the coffin for him as a Chelsea participant, he used to be hooked forward of extra-time after squandering his highest probabilities at the day.

At the complete, Lukaku following up a past due upward thrust in type with an FA Cup last stinker epitomised his anti-climatic go back.

Lukaku's anti-climatic Chelsea return was pretty much summed up by his late surge in form

Lukaku’s anti-climatic Chelsea go back used to be just about summed up via his past due surge in type

He followed up a run of three goals in as many games with a poor display in the FA Cup final

He adopted up a run of 3 objectives in as many video games with a deficient show within the FA Cup last

So after netting simply 15 objectives in 44 appearances, Lukaku is now set to wave good-bye to Chelsea once more as he nears a transfer again to Inter. Even though this time round there will likely be no lingering questions of ‘what if’ when he heads out the door.

His doomed go back used to be a results of more than a few components. At the start, the participant’s ego at the back of the scenes didn’t assist his motive. Lukaku allegedly sees himself at the similar stage because the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe, a daring stance he didn’t justify over the process the season.

The harm that put him out of motion on the finish of October additionally allowed Tuchel to conclude that his assault used to be higher suited with out him. That they had extra depth, motion and fluency in the similar type because the crew which turned into Ecu champions the former season.

Tuchel attempted to evolve their dear arrival to his machine however Lukaku used to be unresponsive, which may also be put all the way down to the trainer’s failed man-management simply up to his personal deficient perspective and stubbornness.

Lukaku has spoken about his desire to play dealing with forwards, just for Tuchel to make use of him as extra of a goal guy with directions to carry the ball up and produce others into play. It’s also believed there used to be some confusion at the back of closed doorways as to why Havertz used to be granted better freedom prematurely than their checklist purchase.

The pair had already encountered issues lengthy sooner than that notorious Sky Italia interview, and when it ended in his demotion in opposition to Liverpool their dating turned into fractured past restore. 

Lukaku and Tuchel's relationship was fractured beyond repair after the Sky Italia controversy

Lukaku and Tuchel’s dating used to be fractured past restore after the Sky Italia controversy

But it is the player who will now go down as the Premier League's worst ever signing

However it’s the participant who will now move down because the Premier League’s worst ever signing

Consequently, Tuchel used to be not able to deliver the most efficient out of Lukaku as his Chelsea fortunes plummeted to all-time low in the second one 1/2 of the season, along with his presence because the spearhead in their assault in large part invisible.

The verdict to prise him clear of Milan used to be understood to were Chelsea’s versus Tuchel, who used to be as an alternative willing to focus on a deal for Lewandowski. Lukaku possibly knew he used to be no longer the chief’s first selection and used to be pressured to check out and make issues paintings, however in any case that did not occur. 

There are numerous the explanation why what will have to were a dream reunion is now finishing in a nightmarish divorce after simply over 10 months. 

On the other hand, when it is all stated and completed simplest Lukaku, the £97.5million signing from hell, will undergo the brunt of being the Premier League’s costliest mistake.

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