'It's been weird': Andy Townsend says it's 'strange' that Chelsea player has been overlooked by Tuchel

Andy Townsend has described it as “strange” that Romelu Lukaku has been overlooked in recent times by his manager Thomas Tuchel.

Lukaku, 28, has come off the bench in his past four consecutive Premier League appearances, with the manager reluctant to throw him into the starting line-up since returning from an injury.

The centre-forward’s been missing lately due to illness, albeit it was confirmed on Thursday that he’s returned to training ahead of Sunday’s Boxing Day fixture against Aston Villa.

It’s going to be interesting to see if the Belgian frontman can force his way back into the XI, as he’s not actually started a league game since mid-October.

Townsend admits he’s a little confused as to why Tuchel’s been leaving Lukaku out of the starting line-up. In fairness, Kai Havertz has looked effective in his place as the centre-forward.

“It’s been weird what’s happening with Lukaku. It’s been a strange one that. His season was disrupted with injury, and then having been in and around it for a few weeks, he hasn’t really been given the nod,” Townsend told talkSPORT.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Lukaku will come good at Chelsea

Yes, Chelsea have had some horrific luck over the years when it comes to signing strikers.

It will be a colossal shock if Lukaku ends up being a flop on his return to Stamford Bridge, though.

Blues supporters should remain confident that the left-footed striker will come good in the second half of the season.

First of all, he’s scored a hatful of goals at any club he’s played for. Also, surely his luck with injury and illness can’t be as bad as the last few months.

Tuchel was starting him in the early stages of the season, so it feels like only a matter of time before he’s back leading the line on a regular basis.

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A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.