According to The Athletic, Romelu Lukaku ‘admitted’ to Thomas Tuchel’s staff that he was struggling to adapt to the physical demands at Chelsea since coming here last summer.
In particular, Lukaku feels he is required to spend a lot of energy chasing the ball as part of the high pressing system, while he was allowed to operate more freely at Inter Milan under Antonio Conte.
Even playing in a new system, the Belgian could not significantly up his game in this respect. He has made 10.2 pressures per 90 minutes this season, compared to 9.1 pressures last season in Italy.
Such incompatibility was a surprise for Tuchel who believed that signing a proper No.9 would be the final step to building a balanced team – and that Lukaku would fit the role.
Instead, the ₤98m striker spends most of his time on the bench in recent games, with Kai Havertz ahead of him in the pecking order.
All in all, Lukaku has scored 12 goals in 40 games across all competitions. For comparison, Tammy Abraham scored as many goals last campaign, having played eight games less.