Chelsea Transfer News Roundup: Blues legend surprised with Tuchel's Romelu Lukaku decision; Newcastle United want Kepa Arrizabalaga, and more - 27 February 2022

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel failed to get the better of Jurgen Klopp.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel failed to get the better of Jurgen Klopp.
Deepungsu Pandit

Chelsea lost to Liverpool in the EFL Cup final on Sunday. The Reds emerged winners at the end of an epic penalty shootout, winning 11-10 after a goalless 120 minutes.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is stunned by Blues manager Thomas Tuchel’s decision to start with Romelu Lukaku on the bench. Elsewhere, Newcastle United are interested in Blues custodian Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Kepa misses. Liverpool win the Carabao Cup.🔵 10-11 🔴

On that note, here's a look at the key Chelsea transfer stories as on 27th February 2022:

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink surprised with Tuchel not starting Romelu Lukaku against Liverpool

Romelu Lukaku has failed to live up to expectations at Stamford Bridge.
Romelu Lukaku has failed to live up to expectations at Stamford Bridge.

Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hesselbaink was surprised by Thomas Tuchel’s decision to keep Romelu Lukaku on the bench against Liverpool.

The Belgian joined the Blues last summer but has struggled to break into Tuchel’s plans after a series of poor performances. He endured a difficult night against Crystal Palace last weekend, managing a league-low seven touches in the game.

Lukaku was subsequently left out of the starting XI for the midweek game against Lille. The same story got repeated against the Reds. That decision from Tuchel did not go down well with Hasselbaink.

Speaking after the team news was announced, Hasselbaink couldn’t believe the Belgian wasn’t in the starting XI.

“I am a little bit surprised. It’s a final; it’s a big game. Yes, he’s not in form, and Havertz is in form, but they can play together. But more because they are playing against Liverpool. Liverpool play with a high line. If you remember the 2-2, Liverpool struggled with the balls behind, and have the power and pace of Lukaku going in behind. It’s a problem (for them),” said Hasselbaink.
Romelu Lukaku on the bench again for Chelsea game vs Liverpool. He’s not in the starting eleven as already happened in Champions League. 🔵 #CFC

Tuchel opted to bring on Lukaku in place of Mason Mount in the 74th minute. However, Hasselbaink said that the Chelsea striker should have started the game.

“Yes, I think so (I would start with Lukaku). It’s Wembley, big pitch, big spaces. We know how Liverpool plays, and you need to attack Liverpool if you’re going to beat them. You need to contend them as well, but you need to attack them, and make the back four uncomfortable,” said Hasselbaink.
“I’m not saying that it can’t be done with Havertz. He’s a different kind of player; he will come more to the ball; he will be more in pockets. Other players will have to go around him (Lukaku), and go into the space, but I would have liked to have seen the power of Lukaku. Don’t get me wrong, he will still feature in the game, only not from the start,” added Hasselbaink.

As things turned out, Lukaku had the chance to win the game for Chelsea, only to see his point-blank effort saved by Caoimhin Kelleher. The Belgian did score past Kelleher in the shootout, but Kepa Arrizabalaga's miss sealed the game for Liverpool.

Newcastle United want Kepa Arrizabalaga

Kepa Arrizabalaga has struggled to cement a place in the Chelsea starting XI.
Kepa Arrizabalaga has struggled to cement a place in the Chelsea starting XI.

Newcastle United are interested in Kepa Arrizabalaga, according to Caught Offside via The Daily Star.

The Spaniard has dropped down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge since the arrival of Edouard Mendy in the summer of 2020. The Senegalese was selected ahead of Kepa once again on Sunday when Chelsea met Liverpool.

Kepa did come on for the shootout, but failed to save any of the 11 penalties he faced, despite guessing the right way for a few. Eventually, his miss - the only miss in 22 spot-kicks in the shootout - sealed the title for Liverpool.

It is clear the Spaniard is unlikely to oust Mendy from the number one position in the team. The Blues could be willing to let Kepa leave this summer for £50 million. The Spaniard has admirers at St. James’ Park, and the Magpies are willing to break the bank for his signature. However, Newcastle might have to escape relegation to get their man.

Chelsea to face competition from Manchester City for West Bromwich Albion prodigy

Chelsea could face competition from Manchester City in the race to sign West Bromwich Albion prodigy Jamaldeen Jimoh, according to The Sun.

The Blues have been impressed by the Englishman’s recent rise, and believe he could reach a higher level at Stamford Bridge. The 15-year-old is expected to leave The Baggies this summer.

The Blues want to add him to their squad. However, the Citizens are ready to play spoilsport. Manchester City are confident of matching toe-to-toe with the London side in the race for the teenager.

Edited by Bhargav


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