Romelu Lukaku is set to make his second Chelsea debut at the Emirates next weekend after Thomas Tuchel set out the plan for the Belgian’s integration into the Blues group.
Our new striker, who completed a permanent transfer from Inter Milan on Thursday, will be unavailable for this afternoon’s Premier League opener against Crystal Palace due to Covid-19 quarantine protocols following travel to the UK from abroad.
He will self-isolate in the coming days before joining in training for the first time on Monday, at the start of a week which ends with Tuchel’s side heading across the capital to take on Arsenal.
‘We were not fast enough to let him play on Wednesday [in the Super Cup] or against Crystal Palace because Romelu is still in quarantine and following the protocols,’ explained the boss.
‘He will be out on Monday, do the whole training with us next week and will play for us against Arsenal. That’s the plan. If things go normal, he will be on the pitch then.’
Tuchel believes the 28-year-old’s arrival will take the pressure away from his new attacking team-mates and is excited to work with the sort of striker he believes suits the club perfectly.
‘He is a true number nine,’ he added. ‘When I thought about Chelsea before I even entered the club and had the chance to be part of it, I thought of personalities up front like Didier Drogba and Diego Costa. This is something that embodies Chelsea and what Chelsea stands for – strong and physical strikers.
‘Since I worked here, I understand why there are so many physical strikers that are so needed and so successful because the league demands it. He’s a perfect fit for Chelsea and he will take the weight off the shoulders of our younger strikers.
‘This is a huge part of the story, that he does not step away and he’s happy to make life easier for players around him. I think players like Christian [Pulisic], Kai [Havertz] and Timo [Werner] will benefit from him.’