Thomas Tuchel hints at potential formation change to get best out of Romelu Lukaku at Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel has hinted at a potential formation switch now that Chelsea have a first-choice target man option in Romelu Lukaku.

The 28-year-old is expected to meet his new teammates at the Cobham training ground on Tuesday.

If it goes well, he will likely make his [second] Chelsea debut in the upcoming London derby against Arsenal on Sunday.

Unsurprisingly, Tuchel has now established that the new Chelsea record signing is now ahead of anyone in the striker pecking order.

But it seems that Tuchel has yet to decide whether Lukaku will play as a lone forward or in a pairing.

“With the addition of Romelu. We get the number-one striker, and we want to have him on the pitch,” the Chelsea boss told the club’s official website.

“This is very clear. If you do this kind of transfer, we are absolutely sure we want to have him on the pitch.

“But I think he will lift the pressure off the shoulders of the young guys, from Kai [Havertz], Timo [Werner], and Christian [Pulisic], because Romelu is the kind of personality who loves responsibility.

“I think we have now with Romelu the chance also to play with two strikers, like they did at Inter [Milan] with him, or to continue with three strikers.

“We will see now how this works out, and we will find a solution for the players around him.”

Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Chronicle view

As Tuchel pointed out, Lukaku mostly played alongside Lautaro Martinez in Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2 system at Inter — and clearly thrived in this formation.

This possible tactical change might also benefit Werner who had his best goalscoring form playing in a strike partnership alongside Yussuf Poulsen at RB Leipzig.

Although, on the flip side, the lack of wide attackers in the 3-5-2 formation could spell bad news for the likes of Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, and Callum Hudson-Odoi, who prefer to operate in wider areas.

At the very least, Tuchel will have more tactical options to choose from, thanks to Lukaku’s presence in the team.

A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.