At his press conference today, Thomas Tuchel was asked about the prospects for two Chelsea strikers, one of whom is shining on loan at Southampton this season.
Both Romelu Lukaku and Armando Broja have netted five Premier League goals this season, although that figure for the current Chelsea no.9 would surely be higher had injury and illness not ruled him out for the best part of two months.
Tuchel spoke after the Manchester City defeat on Saturday about the lack of cohesion in his team’s attacking play, and ahead of our next fixture, at Brighton, Tuchel was quizzed about Lukaku’s role in the side, and how the Blues can bring the best out of him.
‘He is a key player, so there will always be pressure,’ noted Tuchel.
‘There will not be more pressure than he puts on himself. We need to find a mix between all the expectations, all the pressure, and still be relaxed enough to play your best game.
‘It’s not only about pushing, demands, it’s about feeling peace and relaxed on the pitch and things will fall in place when we keep working hard.’
When asked if we need to be more direct to try and suit Lukaku, Tuchel was adamant tailoring our brand of football is not the answer.
‘It’s the wrong question because it’s focusing on one player,’ he said.
‘He’s a key player and we want him to be one, but this is the wrong approach. We do this constantly for every player. This is a team sport, it’s not about 10 players serving one player. This is not Chelsea, this is not football.
‘Every player is serving the team, that’s the highest principle and it will never change.’
Tuchel on Broja
Last midweek, Broja became the youngest player to reach five goals in this season’s Premier League when he produced a typically calm finish against Brentford.
Amid media speculation the Saints might try and make the move permanent, Tuchel assessed the Albanian’s form this season and explained what his focus must be in the coming months.
‘Armando is getting better and better. He is a unique player with some unique strengths in his game. He’s speedy, he’s robust and he’s a goalscorer.
‘He is our player, and he is doing good. At the same time, it’s only half a season. He needs to continue to improve and to make his statement at Southampton.
‘Now is not the moment to discuss the summer. Now is the moment for him to stay calm and keep on improving.
‘There is a reason why they are our players,’ added the boss.
‘They have quality, they have mentality, and now they are out there on their own in different environments and different clubs proving themselves.’