'I told him': Lukaku shares what he said to Tuchel after watching Chelsea play last season

Romelu Lukaku explained that he simply could not keep up with Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea tactics from the previous campaign.

Speaking to the Guardian, Lukaku admitted how impressed he’d been by Tuchel’s methods last year.

The German instantly set about deploying his blueprints on Frank Lampard’s group, after the pair exchanged managerial places in January.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

He installed a 3-4-2-1 formation, ensuring defensive solidity and a greater emphasis on possession.

This transformation was instantly recognisable from his very first match in charge.

At home to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Chelsea kept a clean sheet, boasted 78.9% and completed 820 passes.

Since 2003, both of those possession statistics are the highest totals by a team in their manager’s debut Premier League game in charge.

Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Lukaku loves Tuchel’s approach

From that day forth, Tuchel ensured his side remained resolute at the back but added an extra offensive fluidity.

Often, he would use a ‘false nine’ instead of a traditional striker. This looked pretty on the eye, yet lacked any kind of consistent scoring pattern.

Lukaku’s arrival should put an end to Chelsea’s deficiencies up front and give their system a more defined look.

However, the Belgian said he would gratefully acknowledge any strategical changes Tuchel plans to make.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

“Every game there is a different plan,” said the centre-forward.

“That’s something that I told him in the first conversation I had with him.

“I said: ‘Look, I try to figure out what you try and do with the team but I never figured it out because every game was different.’

“That’s what I like because I look at the game from a tactical point of view. I don’t really look at the game just to watch.”

There has been very little turnaround time between Lukaku’s link-up with his Chelsea teammates and the next league game against Arsenal on Sunday.

Tuchel will undoubtedly want the 28-year-old leading his attack this weekend, so getting him up to speed is a priority.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.