Thomas Tuchel has explained why he was so keen to add Romelu Lukaku to his squad this season and what he believes the Belgian will bring to the team.
Chelsea completed the signing of Lukaku from Inter Milan yesterday, bringing the Belgian international back for his second spell at Stamford Bridge.
Although his arrival comes too late for the striker to be involved in tomorrow’s Premier League opener against Crystal Palace, Tuchel is confident we won’t have to wait long to see him making his mark with Chelsea and explained what it is about Lukaku that appealed to him.
‘We’re very happy to have Romelu back in the club as an addition to our squad,’ said our head coach. ‘We think in terms of personality, his speed, power, he can hopefully be an excellent choice for us and an excellent addition.
‘He has the power, he has the physique to help us. He has the experience, the personality, to have an instant impact in our squad. He is at the same time a humble guy and a true team player and he cares about Chelsea.’
That point about Lukaku’s bond with the club from growing up supporting the Blues and his earlier time at the Bridge as a young player was one Tuchel was keen the emphasise, with the 28-year-old’s desire to come back to Chelsea leaving the German confident he will be a great fit with the rest of the squad.
‘He is super hungry. It was actually very important to us that it was his desire to re-join Chelsea and to finish his story at Chelsea in the way that he wants to for himself. It was very important because we have a strong group that is defined with a strong bond and a certain attitude to be ready to help each other out and to support each other.
‘We think that Romelu, having always Chelsea in his heart, is a perfect addition to our group because he embodies all that we are proud of in this club and in our team.’
Tuchel also explained that when looking to bolster our attack for the 2021/22 season he was looking for a certain type of striker, which he believes he has found in Lukaku, but that our new signing’s wide range of talents will also help open up more tactical options for Chelsea.
‘We were looking for a certain profile and Romelu gives us that,’ explained Tuchel. ‘He feels confident to play physical, he feels confident to play with his back towards the goal, but also he is very strong in using his speed and pace. So this will always be a key figure in our game.
‘To be strong in ball wins and offensive transition, this is what the league demands and this is what we demand from ourselves, but we don’t want to be only a ball possession team, only a defensive team, a team that only plays long balls.
‘We feel that Romelu’s strength is having a variety of strengths. He is strong in the air, he will give us a new power when we cross from the side. I don’t think we need to change our style of play to make him shine. He has charisma, he is a good age now where he is a leader and hopefully he will be one of the leaders in our group.’