Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel recently opened up about striker Romelu Lukaku's underwhelming return to Stamford Bridge last season. He admitted that the situation was disappointing and shared the responsibility for the Belgian's failure.
Lukaku, 29, returned to the Blues from Inter Milan last summer for a club-record fee of £97.5 million. However, the Belgian failed to make much of an impact, scoring just 15 goals in 43 games across competitions.
The former Manchester United man often looked out of place in Tuchel's system. His interview with Sky Italia expressing his desire to re-join Inter Milan and his dissatisfaction with the German manager's system didn't endear himself to the Stamford Bridge faithful.
Lukaku has now returned to Inter on loan this summer and will look to regain his form. Tuchel, meanwhile, said in an interview with Sky Sports that the striker's returns at Chelsea were 'disappointing.
"Yes, I think we should all be honest that it was disappointing, but also for myself, from my term of performance. I am far away from pointing the finger at Romelu, but he is disappointed, I was disappointed."
Tuchel added that he was prepared to give Lukaku another chance to redeem himself by finding the right 'structure' to accomodate the player. He said that Lukaku's failure didn't make him 'happy', saying:
"It is on me to find structure, to build an environment, to make a player confident and to bring the very best out of him, that’s why I am here. I’m serving the players, not the other way around. I did not succeed; that does not make me happy."
He added that the striker wanted to leave, a wish the owners acceded to.
"I was ready to give it another try, Romelu decided differently and expressed his wish to go back," said Tuchel. "The owners decided, in the end, to agree to his wish, so we need to find new solutions."
Lukaku began his return to the San Siro in clinical fashion, scoring in their 2-1 win over Lecce on Saturday.
The Belgian registered 24 goals and ten assists in 36 games to help the Nerazzurri win the 2020-21 Serie A title.
Chelsea need to sign striker this summer
While Romelu Lukaku has returned to Inter Milan, Timo Werner has also returned to RB Leipzig this summer on a permanent deal.
Chelsea are now left with Armando Broja as their only recognised striker. The Albania international spent last season on loan at Southampton, where he scored just six goals in 32 Premier League games.
Thomas Tuchel's side lacked a proper No. 9 last season as well. Although they have signed Raheem Sterling from Manchester City this summer, they still need to get another striker.