'That's the difference': Micah Richards suggests 29-year-old Chelsea player would be brilliant if he was at Man City

Micah Richards has suggested that Romelu Lukaku would’ve excelled had he been wearing a Manchester City shirt this season.  

Speaking on the BBC Monday Night Club, Richards proposed the idea of the Chelsea striker performing better in Pep Guardiola’s side than Thomas Tuchel’s.

It can’t have gone much worse for Lukaku had he chosen the Etihad over Stamford Bridge last summer.

The 29-year-old has largely disappointed and underwhelmed since his highly anticipated return to South West London at the start of the season.

He was tipped to take Tuchel’s team to the very top of the Premier League table, ahead of City to the promised land.

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After a bright start, scoring four times in four games, the Belgian appeared to have justified his club-record signing on fee.

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

But the honeymoon period quickly faded into darkness.

What has been Lukaku’s problem?

Although Chelsea continued their siege on Guardiola’s castle, they largely head to do it without their centre-forward.

Lukaku lost his scoring touch almost overnight, going eight league matches without rippling the net between September and Boxing Day.

A spell on the side-lines through injury certainly didn’t help his cause, neither did the revealing Sky Italia interview that took social media by storm.

Yet, the main crux of Lukaku’s issues has generally been the system he’s found himself stuck in.

Tuchel’s methods simply do not align with the number nine’s skill set.

On only a few occasions this campaign has the structure worked around Lukaku, rather than the other way around.

“I think if Lukaku was in Man City’s team he would score goals,” claimed Richards.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

“I think that’s the difference, it’s the system.”

Lukaku would’ve excelled at City

Any struggling attacker would probably find themselves a regular on the score sheet in Guardiola’s group.

They relentlessly create chances, pinning opponents with wave after wave of offensive manoeuvres.

One of City’s trademark moves is to pull the ball back from the bye line, with two or three players waiting for the cross.

It is within the penalty area where Lukaku thrives, and such attacks would certainly play into his strengths.

Unfortunately for the Chelsea forward, he will have to wait his turn to join the English champions, as Erling Haaland prepares to become their new focal point.   

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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.