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Tuchel backs Lukaku to retain top spot as Chelsea continues to roll without injured striker

6:32 PM EST 11/26/21
Romelu Lukaku Chelsea 2021-22
The Blues boss insists his side is stronger with the former Manchester United man in the team

Thomas Tuchel insists that Chelsea are not better without Romelu Lukaku as he says he's looking forward to getting the Belgian star back in the squad.

Lukaku has missed the last five games with an ankle injury, but Chelsea's attack has continued to roll to the top of the Premier League.

But Tuchel says that he believes his side will still benefit from the return of the former Inter star, who has scored three goals in seven Premier League games so far.

What was said?

“I understand why people say this as people always look for easy solutions," Tuchel said. "People look for one reason and that things go one way or the other. But life is not like this, life is not that easy, and life in a football team is not that easy.

"Maybe, we shine so brightly now because Romelu did the hard work before. He scored some very decisive goals for us already, to bring us in a position where the young players and other players can take over, step in and show their qualities.

"We started strong and we started the season with Romelu. The things he brings when he is in the dressing room, in the building, even when he is injured, he is every day here, positive, determined, he pushes everybody. He is a top professional and a top top striker. He will be super and he is actually, in the moment, very important.

"I am happy that we can survive a long period without him, without (Mateo) Kovacic, without (Timo) Werner, without (Christian) Pulisic. It shows we function as a team absolutely and we rely on top qualities like every team but they bring so much more than only their presence on the field.

"We miss all our players when they are injured and we will Romelu a lot and we are capable of finding solutions and the team is doing so well as Romelu is pushing, he is here and he is part of the team. There are different views on the subject and the whole conversation is more complex than it seems to be. The competition is on, which is a good thing."

The big picture

Despite not having Lukaku in recent weeks, the Blues haven't struggled in the slightest.

Chelsea battered Juventus 4-0 in the Champions League midweek, and last season's Champions League winners have also lost just once in the Premier League with that loss coming against Manchester City in September.

Lukaku remains the club's second-leading scorer in the Premier League with three goals, just one behind Reece James, who continues to assert himself as one of Europe's top fullbacks.

In total, nine Chelsea players have scored multiple league goals through 12 games.

Next up for Chelsea is a clash with Lukaku's former club Manchester United at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

Further reading