‘Is it going to work?’: Ian Wright doesn’t think 29-year-old player gets into Chelsea’s best team right now

Ian Wright sounded worried for Romelu Lukaku when naming his preferred front-three at Chelsea.

Speaking on his own podcast, Wright questioned whether Lukaku gets a look in when it comes to selecting Thomas Tuchel’s best-attacking trio.

Based on the evidence of the past 10-months, the answer is no.

It’s really not been great for Rom

Although he might finish the season as the club’s top scorer, the stats do not tell the whole story about Lukaku.

He has far away been the signing that was meant to shoot Chelsea to the Premier League title, as many imagined the striker would be.

If anything, the 29-year-old has largely hindered the siege on Manchester City’s castle.

His strengths simply haven’t matched the methods of the manager, causing Tuchel to tinker with the forward line repeatedly.

Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

For a long stretch of the campaign, the responsibility was placed upon Kai Havertz to spearhead the team.

After a decent spell between the beginning of March and April, the German has since fizzled out, leaving even more questions for Tuchel to answer.

Chelsea’s coach responded to these queries by reinstalling Lukaku to the XI, the decision briefly rewarded thanks to goals from the centre-forward against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leeds United.

However, the optimism was short-lived.

The Belgian’s performance in the FA Cup final left a lot to be desired, a phrase that’s followed him around for a while.

He once again looked out of tune with his teammates, struggling to ever get into the match.

Flanked by Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount, the striker failed to utilise the creativity surrounding him.

Ian Wright is worried for Lukaku

In hindsight, perhaps Tuchel would’ve been better off starting a different trident against Liverpool.

“I think that with Havertz, Werner and Mount, they are so different,” said Wright on Tuchel’s front-line dilemma.

“Havertz is the one who kind of makes it work-ish. He is the one with the ability to do something else, he can do more. Whether that’s on the ground or in the air heading.

Photo by Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

“Then you’ve got the pace of Werner and the industry and even the finishing ability of Mason Mount.

“It’s enough chaos between those three when you have to say to yourself ‘I’m going to go with them because I feel like they are the ones who are going to do something, rather than maybe Romelu who is going to be up there, but can we depend on him enough?’

“Is it going to work? If Timo Werner’s gone, if Mason Mount’s linking, is he (Lukaku) going to be able to hold it to link to Mount and get it to Werner?”

Again, to respond to your inquiry Wrighty, probably not.  

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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.