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Romelu Lukaku

Lukaku 'sad' to watch and 'killing his own confidence', says former Chelsea player Melchiot

13:45 GMT 18/04/2022
Romelu Lukaku Chelsea
The 28-year-old was dropped to the Chelsea bench again as his side faced Crystal Palace in the FA Cup semi-finals

Romelu Lukaku has been urged to have a frank conversation with Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel by Mario Melchiot, who believes the striker's current situation is destroying his confidence.

The 28-year-old forward has had a rough period since returning to Stamford Bridge from Inter last summer.

Lukaku was dropped to the bench for his team's 2-0 win against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday and was only introduced for the last 13 minutes.

What has been said?

The Belgium international did not make much of an impression after coming on, however, as he was presented with an excellent chance, only to hit the post.

Ex-Chelsea full-back Melchiot believes Lukaku must clear the air with coach Tuchel and says it is "sad" to see him struggle.

“He needs a good chat with his coach,” Melchiot said on Talksport.

“To understand what his coach wants because if not he’s just killing his own confidence.

“Coming back after an injury and getting back in the team and coming on, of course he hit the post trying to get the ball in the goal, it’s just sad, a player of his stature, of his ability.

“Coming with so much confidence and then going through the moments he’s going through now, the only thing he can do for himself is have a good chat, understand what the coach wants because I don’t always think that Lukaku really understands what’s expected from him in the system that Tuchel wants to play.”

The bigger picture

Lukaku caused a stir at the end of 2021 when he complained about Tuchel's system at Chelsea and admitted that he wanted to stay at Inter.

Lukaku struggled with an injury in October, then was kept out of action for two weeks after contracting coronavirus.

The striker's playing time has been reduced lately amid his struggles on the field and has scored just 12 times in 37 matches in all competitions.

Tuchel has challenged him to bounce back like fellow Chelsea star Timo Werner, who went through his own difficult period at the club.

"What Timo has done is exactly what [Lukaku] needs to do," Tuchel said.

"Wait, be patient, work hard and put the team first, be ready to help the team, because as a striker you can help within seconds.

“Now [Werner] has made it difficult to leave him out. I’m impressed, he was very, very good in the last two games."

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