Date:31st December 2021 at 11:02am
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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says he’s surprised by Romelu Lukaku’s outspoken interview with Sky Sport Italia.

Recorded three weeks ago, the Belgian suggested he was “not happy” at Stamford Bridge as “the coach has chosen to play with another system.”

The Blues re-signed the 28-year-old for a club-record £97.5m from Inter Milan in the summer.

But after a bright start, injury plus a bout of Covid saw him sidelined and he had to wait to regain his spot in Tuchel’s XI.

Despite a stop-start debut return to Chelsea, Lukaku has still hit the back of the net seven times in 11 starts.

Lukaku has five Premier League goals this season.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of Sunday’s crunch match against Liverpool, Tuchel revealed that his striker’s comments are an unwelcome distraction.

“We don’t like it, of course because it brings noise that we don’t need and it is not helpful.

“But on the other side we don’t want to make more of it than it actually is. You know very well how it is. It is very easy to take lines out of context. It is very easy to shorten lines, make headlines and then later realise that it’s maybe not so bad and not what he meant.

“Let’s be honest, I don’t like it because it is noise that we don’t need. We need a calm environment and focus and this does not help. If it is an interview from a person of that kind of interest, that important player. I totally understand the process.

“That’s why it is a lot of noise, not a little bit, a lot of extra noise. But still, we are not here to just read the headlines and maybe we can take the time to try to understand what’s going on because it does not reflect the daily work, it does not reflect the daily attitude, it does not reflect the daily behaviour that Romelu shows here at Cobham.

“You need to ask him, not me, I cannot help you further with this because I was surprised.”

Lukaku will be aiming to score in a third consecutive match against Jurgen Klopp’s side who sit one point and one place behind the second placed Blues in the table.

Both sides will be aiming for a vital three points to try and at least stay in sight of leaders Man City who currently have an eight-point lead at the top.

 
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