Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel says Romelu Lukaku is still a perfect fit for the club as he prepares to return for Wednesday’s EFL Cup semi-final clash against Tottenham (Chelsea evens, Draw 12/5, Tottenham 3/1 – match odds).
Despite being disciplined last weekend, the Belgium international is expected to be part of Tuchel’s squad for the clash at Stamford Bridge.
Lukaku is to be fined after he claimed he was unhappy at the club during an interview. The former Inter Milan striker says he wishes to return to the San Siro before the end of his career, and he criticised his position in the squad under Tuchel.
He was then dropped for Sunday’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Liverpool, but Tuchel says he still has big plans for the Belgian.
Tuchel told the club’s official website: “First choice is also about what is possible and what’s not possible and what is a good fit.
“It was the perfect fit, and it still is. Let’s say the spotlight got a bit bright now, and we should not talk around it. We all have things to prove.
“He feels clearly in a position from day one that he has to deliver. I don’t think that you can assume that we spent this amount of money and bring all this effort after having major doubts or second thoughts, or having him on the list in, say, place number four.”
Chelsea (2/1 to win the EFL Cup) centre-back Trevoh Chalobah is injured and will not feature, while fellow centre-back Andreas Christensen is a doubt. However, Timo Werner could return to the squad after missing the last few weeks due to injury.
Spurs (4/1 to win the EFL Cup) also have injury concerns, with Cristian Romero, Ryan Sessegnon and Steven Bergwijn all on the treatment table.