Steve Nicol has labelled Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku as an unnatural finisher after his performance yesterday.
Lukaku, 28, scored the only goal of the contest during Chelsea’s 1-0 win against Al Hilal in FIFA’s Club World Cup semi-final.
The left-footed striker fired in a close-range finish to secure victory, albeit beforehand he missed a great opportunity to score when he couldn’t direct a low cross goalwards.
It means the Belgian has netted nine goals in 26 appearances so far this season in what’s been a challenging return to Stamford Bridge.
ESPN pundit Nicol fired a slightly harsh criticism at Lukaku in his post-match analysis by suggesting the Chelsea number nine isn’t a natural in front of goal.
“I don’t think we should be shocked that he’s not scoring more goals. He’s not the most gifted of finishers. I’d probably say his biggest strength is he gets himself in positions where he gets the opportunity to score. I don’t think he’s a natural finisher. Yes, he scores goals, but he’s not natural. The chance he had at 0-0 today is a perfect example,” Nicol told ESPN.
Pressure on Chelsea number nine
Yes, some of Lukaku’s performances have been a tough watch for supporters this season. He’s not hit anywhere near the dizzy heights most expected after joining from Inter Milan in the summer.
Nicol’s criticism seems overkill, though.
Lukaku is a player who’s scored 260 senior career goals at club level. In addition, he’s got 68 goals in 101 caps for his country Belgium.
There are understandably question marks around him as a player because he’s not matching the £97.5million price tag yet and there is pressure on him.
However, he is a good finisher around the box and hopefully yesterday’s goal can spark some positive form.
Blues manager Thomas Tuchel said last month Lukaku will hit a certain amount of goals by the end of the season, regardless of how he’s playing right now.
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