Romelu Lukaku apologises to Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel and back in squad to face Tottenham after controversial interview

Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that Romelu Lukaku is back in contention to face Tottenham tomorrow.

The Belgian was dropped for Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool after his controversial interview last week.

Lukaku, 28, admitted to Sky Italia that he wish hadn’t left Inter Milan – while also criticising Tuchel’s tactics.

But after leaving his £97.5million striker out against the Reds, Tuchel has confirmed that Lukaku will be involved again after apologising in private.

He said: “First of all, we are happy that we took the time to look calmly on it, this is what we did.

“He apologised and is back in the squad for training today. The most important thing was to understand and believe it was not intentional.

“There was never the slightest behaviour against the team.

“These are very important points to understand that it is not that big as people or you want it to be.

“It is also not small but small enough to stay calm, to accept an apology and to move on.”

Quizzed about how supporters will react to Lukaku upon his return, Tuchel added: “He is aware of what happened and he created and feels the responsibility to clean the mess up but there may still be a smell of course.

“We are happy that he is our player and we will protect him. If someone strongly disagrees, this is about the team with everything we do.”

The German then continued: “He is very committed. That is why it was so surprising to me. He scored against Villa and then the next game but he was there and decisive.

“I never, before the interview, had the slightest doubt that he was not committed. He is an emotional guy, he does not hold back with his opinion.

“We should not just blame him and point on the negative side of it, we have to adapt.

“It created some noise that you don’t want but there are zero doubts in his commitment to the team.”

Asked about how he can get the best out of Lukaku, Tuchel revealed: “I think the players get the best out of themselves.

“With Romelu it is not about finding positions, he is a striker, a number nine and that is it.

“It is about adaption to a different team, teammates, then comes Covid. We are in a totally normal place with him.”

He added: “I have read more difficult quotes to cope with in previous years as a coach.

“He was not happy because he was injured and had Covid but he wants to score for us, make us successful and that is pretty much it.

“I don’t see any misunderstanding in communication. That is why I was surprised, and still am. He’s our No9 and I cannot say any more.

“Was the intention to create trouble? To leave the club? I don’t know, put pressure on the coach? No.

“Of course he should have known better but that is why we have cleared the air together.”


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