'I'm telling you now': Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink leaps to the defence of under-fire Chelsea player

Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has jumped to the aid of Romelu Lukaku.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Hasselbaink backed the Belgian to overcome the mini-wobble that is typical of any high-profile player.

The 28-year-old is certainly suffering from a lack of confidence, due to going through a period out of the team and out of the goals.

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA – 2021/12/08: Romelu Lukaku (No.9) of Chelsea in action during the UEFA Champions League, football match between Zenit and Chelsea at Gazprom Arena. (Final score; Zenit 3:3 Chelsea). (Photo by Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

His near month-long absence because of an ankle injury was sandwiched between a ten-game run without scoring for the Blues.

This sizeable streak ended against Zenit St. Petersburg the other week, but his wait for a goal in the Premier League stretches back to September.

Don’t rush Romelu Lukaku

From the outside, this seems like a major concern to Chelsea and their title hopes.

Yet, Thomas Tuchel’s men have managed to cope without their club-record signing.

They couldn’t stop scoring whilst Lukaku was away.

This theme has continued upon the striker’s recovery, but the results are beginning to become more questionable.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Little blame can be placed on the centre-forward’s shoulders regarding the downturn in fortunes.

Tuchel just needs to be patient with his number nine and not overreact to the situation, which is a highly unlikely scenario anyway.  

“The price tag makes everybody think there is no room for error, and no room for failure,” said Hasselbaink about Lukaku’s apparent woes.

“I’m telling you now, whatever you pay for a striker, if it is £200m, he is going to fail in certain matches.

“He is going to miss chances. He will have a period where he is not feeling the best or playing the best.

Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

“Look at Harry Kane. For whatever reason, he is not having the best season. Would you want him in your team? Every day of the week.

“You know what he can do, and it’s the same with Lukaku.

“The reason I’m saying that is because he has done that everywhere he has been throughout his career, so why would he not for Chelsea, too?”

Curious case of Harry Kane

If it is any comfort to Lukaku, Kane is enduring an even more difficult time across the capital.

The England captain has scored – and this is not a typo – just one goal in the top flight this term.

This is coming from the man who won the 2020/21 Golden Boot and Playmaker awards.

Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

He will point to the eight he’s managed across all competitions, yet half of those arrived against NS Mura in the Europa Conference League.

Every footballer goes through a rough patch.

Lukaku just needs to find a small clearing and the campaign should open up again.

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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.