Romelu Lukaku’s return to Chelsea has been described as ‘pathetic’ but others have to bear the blame too.
That’s the view of former Blues man and talkSPORT host Jason Cundy following news that the striker is set to return to Inter Milan on loan.
Lukaku returned to Stamford Bridge to much fanfare, for a world record fee of £97.5million, a decade after arriving from Anderlecht.
The 29-year-old finished top scorer but 15 in all competitions was well below expected output after reaching double for Inter the season before.
Cundy believes that while some of the blame may lie with Lukaku, he was a victim of injuries suffered by the club and also manager Thomas Tuchel’s reluctance to adapt more to his game.
He told the Sports Bar: “It was an absolute disaster. You can’t dress it up for anything other than it didn’t work out.
“My view on it is that he suffered from it, like Chelsea did, and Tuchel had to change too, when we lost, for the long term, the left-back and the right-back.
“Ben Chilwell and Reece James were flying at the start of the season. There was a stat at the start of the season, the five games they played together, the total score was 18 goals scored and one conceded.
Newcastle to land £10m, Ronaldo ‘doubts’ Man United future and Raphinha battle
How Louis van Gaal may have ruined Arsenal’s summer transfer plans
Liverpool’s ‘Haaland’ equaled Mane’s record without playing a game before Forest move
How Liverpool’s ‘perfect’ target could look compared to Kante in next season’s starting XI
Woods defends Nketiah being given No.14 shirt as O’Hara mocks Arsenal
Akinfenwa hilariously corrects Laura Woods on FIFA rating, then drops WWE hint
“It took a huge amount from us and I think Tuchel needs huge credit not only to get us into the top four but also to get us in and around there. Led us to two finals, failed in the Champions League, pushed Real Madrid as far as we could.
“But these two players were a huge loss for the way Tuchel wanted to play.”
He added: “I thought he was a bit pathetic at times. You see players putting in more and maybe it was a loss of confidence.
“I’m not convinced he really wanted to be there. His body language sometimes showed it.
“I sometimes felt sorry for him because he was running errands and there were chances to put the ball in his feet earlier and we didn’t put the ball in his feet.”
Lukaku had to apologize to fans in January after giving an explosive interview where he expressed his unhappiness at Chelsea.
Cundy added: “The damage was done. The rot has set in. The interview he gave around Christmas was also very bizarre.
“When the interview came out, it was done weeks in advance and not days. He got injured and came back and wasn’t in the squad.
“I have a bit of sympathy for him. I sometimes felt like we weren’t using his strengths. There were a number of times when I felt we could have put the ball to him. earlier.
“I felt Tuchel was so focused on trying to get the best out of the team because we missed Chilwell and James, the goal of trying to get the best out of Lukaku was lost a bit.
“Let’s be clear, he was poor, but I feel sorry for him because it wasn’t just because of him. There were games where I was like ‘Come on, this is not good enough’.”
Deals of the day
888Sport – Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bet + £10 Casino Bonus* – CLAIM HERE
New customers only. Minimum deposit of £10 • A qualifying bet is a “real money” wager of at least £10 • Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) • Free bets are credited upon settlement of the qualifying bet and expire after 7 days • Free bet stakes are not included in returns • Casino bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/associated winnings, wager x40 bonus amount within 14 days • Casino bonus expires after 60 days • Withdrawal restrictions and full terms and conditions apply 18+ begambleaware.org
SEE MORE FREE BET OFFERS HERE