'Wait to see': Nevin questions whether 'unplayable' Chelsea star can turn it on every game

Pat Nevin sparked the debate about Romelu Lukaku being able to emulate his Chelsea display against Arsenal week-in-week-out.

Speaking to Off the Ball, Nevin posed a question about the longevity of Lukaku’s performances across the campaign.

It was a brilliant Blues return for the Belgian last Sunday away to Arsenal, who ticked off his first-ever goal for the club.

He dragged Pablo Mari along for the ride, like a stray sock being tossed into the washing machine.

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images


Round and round the pair went until Lukaku came out squeaky clean, whilst Mari looked dazed and confused.

Pat posts the ultimatum

Chelsea couldn’t have asked for a simpler task to help embed their new striker.

But it certainly won’t be that straightforward for the centre-forward in every fixture.

Nevin wanted to make people aware of this, querying whether Lukaku could maintain his levels for a sustained period of time.  

“I went to see him in the World Cup over in Russia and he was, for a couple of games, unplayable, completely,” said the former Blues winger.

Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

“That’s the word, totally unplayable, nobody could get near him.

“Could he do that every three days? No, absolutely not. We know that about him now over the years.

“The chat now is that’s changed because he’s been over in Italy. Because he found out about his dietary problems. Because he’s matured, all that stuff.  

“We wait to see if that is the case. Chelsea can rest him and make no blind bit of difference to them because they’ve got enough quality in there.

“If they use them right and keeps that energy that he showed for the big games, he could be fantastic for them. He could make them a much stronger side.”

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Red dead redemption

An extremely tough test awaits Chelsea and Lukaku next, as the Champions League holders travel to Liverpool this Saturday.

Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip present a much more formidable duo than the Chuckle Brothers tribute act that was witnessed at the Emirates last weekend.

Lukaku is no stranger to facing the Reds. Unfortunately, he is also no stranger to being defeated by the Reds.

In 17 outings versus Liverpool, the former Anderlecht pupil has lost eight times, scoring just five goals in that run.

But the slate is clean, the omens ominous and Chelsea are well charged for this potential bone tingling bout.  

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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.