Romelu Lukaku’s “dream” return to Chelsea at the start of the 2021-22 season has taken a sour turn. Recent conflicts with head coach Thomas Tuchel have seen him dropped from the squad. There is no clear indication Lukaku will return to the pitch for Chelsea anytime soon, but the results of a meeting between coach and player on Monday could result in a clearer picture for the future.

What’s Going On With Romelu Lukaku and Tuchel?

Since August, Lukaku has scored 7 goals in 17 appearances for Chelsea. His goalscoring tendencies have been more muted this season, yet compared to Chelsea’s other strikers Timo Werner and Callum Hudson Odoi, there is nothing to suggest Big Rom shouldn’t be out on the pitch. Again, it is the recent incidents with coach Thomas Tuchel that have sent Lukaku’s return into a downward spiral.

Romelu Lukaku’s choice of words and critical views of the ‘situation’ at Chelsea have angered higher-ups at the club. In a recent interview with Sky Sports Italy, the Belgian striker held nothing back when speaking about his unhappiness:

“But I’m not happy with the situation, this is normal. I think the coach has chosen to play with another module, I just have to not give up and continue to work and be a professional. I am not happy with the situation, but I am a worker and I must not give up.”

What situation exactly? Unclear, as neither he nor Sky Sports clarified what was meant by this. However, Romelu wasn’t finished and interestingly spoke up a return back to Inter Milan:

“I have Inter in my heart, I will return to play there, I really hope so. I am in love with Italy, this is rightly the time to talk and let people know what really happened without talking badly about people because I am not like that.”

Inter Milan Fans Speak Out on a Lukaku Return

However, Inter Milan fans have made their stance on Lukaku’s potential return clear:

The message on the banner translates to, “It doesn’t matter who runs away in the rain. It’s about the ones who stay in the storm. Bye Romelu.”

Talk about collateral damage. Criticizing Chelsea and speaking of your love for another European club, whose fans don’t even want you back. The cause for Tuchel’s fury is starting to make sense.

Lukaku and Tuchel to Talk in Crucial Meeting

Monday will prove crucial to Lukaku’s future at Chelsea. According to BBC Sport, Romelu Lukaku and Thomas Tuchel have agreed to have a meeting to discuss the interview as well as returning to the squad. Should the meeting go well, Lukaku will likely be restored to the first team. However, should things go south we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Tuchel has also made clear that Lukaku will not be sold during the January transfer window. Should the Belgian wish to leave, he will have to wait until the end of the season. It seems as though Chelsea is giving Lukaku every chance to resolve this situation and move on from it. Lukaku’s been given a second chance to play for the club, but should a transfer away be his desire, it seems as though Tuchel is perfectly willing to exclude him from the squad.

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About Author

James Kim

I'm currently a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I grew up playing soccer and fell in love with the sport. My motivation to continue playing The Beautiful Game started from watching clips of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on Youtube, and from there it took off. I love staying up to date on the latest news in the footballing world and talking about it with others! I am a passionate Real Madrid fan however, so to Barcelona fans: it's just something we'll have to work around. :)

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