"Romelu Lukaku is not the problem" - Thomas Tuchel believes the Belgian superstar is 'part of the solution' at Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel shows his support towards Romelu Lukaku after 1-1 draw with Brighton.
Thomas Tuchel shows his support towards Romelu Lukaku after 1-1 draw with Brighton.
Varun Totadri

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has defended Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku for his recent performances. The 28-year-old was booed off by his own fans after he was substituted during the Blues' 1-1 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium last night.

Hakim Ziyech gave Thomas Tuchel's side the lead midway through the first half before Adam Webster scored the equalizer for Brighton in the 60th minute. Chelsea struggled to create goal-scoring opportunities on the night and didn't deserve more than a draw against the Seagulls.

Belgian striker Lukaku has been slammed by Blues fans for his performance against Brighton. The striker was also criticized by Tuchel for his poor performance in the club's 1-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday (15 January).

The German tactician, however, came out in support of the striker and has claimed that Lukaku is 'part of the solution' to Chelsea's problems. When questioned about the striker's performance against Brighton in a post-match conference, Tuchel said (as per Metro):

"I don't want to talk about single questions, Today was not about Romelu, there are too many questions about Romelu and too many answers about Romelu. Romelu is by far not the problem, he's part of the solution."

Chelsea went into their clash with Brighton on the back of just one victory in their last seven games in the Premier League. When questioned about Chelsea's dip in form, Tuchel blamed injuries, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on his squad, and the Premier League's fixture schedule. He said:

"I've answered this question 100 times. If you look at our situation of long-term injuries, of key players injured and Covid and you look at our schedule you will have the answer. We are tired mentally and physically. You can see it in our performance. It's as easy as that."

Chelsea are currently third in the Premier League table. The Blues are twelve points behind league leaders Manchester City and one point behind second-placed Liverpool.

Hakim Ziyech and Romelu Lukaku are having a difference of opinions heading into the break, despite the Blues' lead... 👀HT: Brighton 0-1 Chelsea

Hakim Ziyech's recent form has been a major source of positivity for Chelsea

Hakim Ziyech in action against Brighton.
Hakim Ziyech in action against Brighton.

Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech has enjoyed a return to form this season. The former Ajax star struggled to cope with the speed and physicality of the English game last season. He managed to score just six goals in 39 appearances across all competitions during the 2021-22 club campaign.

According to Calciomercato, Ziyech has been heavily linked with a move away from the club in recent weeks. The likes of Juventus and AC Milan are rumored to have registered their interest in the attacking midfielder.

HALF-TIME Brighton 0-1 ChelseaChelsea lead at the break thanks to Hakim Ziyech's long range strike, despite a strong opening half from the home side#BHACHE

The 28-year-old has, however, become a crucial member of his team's squad in recent weeks. Ziyech has scored two goals in his last two appearances for the Blues.

Overall, the Morocco international has scored five goals and provided four assists in 23 appearances for Tuchel's side in all competitions this season. Ziyech has become a regular starter in recent weeks due to injuries and COVID-19 cases within the squad.

He is likely to be a key player for Chelsea during the second half of the season as they are still in the running to win silverware in at least three more competitions.

Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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