Saturday, January 22, 2022

Tuchel offers no guarantees over axed Lukaku´s Chelsea future

SoccerNews in English Premier League 2 Jan 2022

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Thomas Tuchel gave no guarantees that Romelu Lukaku has a future at Chelsea after dropping the club record signing for Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

The European champions were this week rocked when Lukaku stated in an interview with Sky Sport Italia, recorded in December, that he is not happy with the situation he finds himself in at Chelsea.

Tuchel reacted by leaving the striker out of his squad for the Premier League battle between second and third at Stamford Bridge.

The Chelsea head coach stated before the game that he axed Lukaku because the issue had “got too big and too noisy”.

Tuchel did not reveal whether the Belgium international has apologised and says no decision has been made over whether he stays at the club.

The German told Sky Sports: “He’s our player. There is always a way back, but we will clear this in Cobham [Chelsea’s training facility] behind closed doors and once we have made a decision; club, coach and once Romelu knows, then you will know as well and not before.

“This is not to be discussed now, let’s wait some days.”

Chelsea stormed back from two goals down after Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah had put Liverpool on course to go second, Mateo Kovacic reducing the deficit with a sublime volley and Christian Pulisic equalising in first-half stoppage time.

Tuchel says Mane should have been sent off by referee Anthony Taylor for catching Cesar Azpilicueta in the face with his arm after only six seconds. 

He said: “If you remember the first game with the same referee and how quick it was to give a red card to us, I am not a friend of early red cards. I hate to say it because I love Mane and he is a nice guy and top player, but it is a red card.

“The elbow is in the face; it doesn’t matter if you do this after 20 seconds or 20 minutes. We come from a game against Brighton where we miss VAR calls in the box and suddenly VAR is checking a goal against Kovacic.”

Chelsea are 10 points behind leaders Manchester City, with Liverpool a further point back but with a game in hand.

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