Thomas Tuchel believes Romelu Lukaku can emulate Didier Drogba and Diego Costa at Chelsea after the Belgian striker completed his return to Stamford Bridge.
The Blues’ number one priority in the transfer market this summer was to bring in a new centre forward and after flirtations with Borussia Dortmund over a move for Erling Haaland hit a very firm brick wall, Chelsea turned their attention to re-signing Lukaku.
Belgium’s all-time top scorer spent three years on the club’s books between 2011 and 2014 but he only made 15 appearances before moving on to Everton. Spells at Manchester United and Inter Milan have followed in which Lukaku has blossomed into one of the world’s top strikers.
Chelsea were confident a move for the 28-year-old could be agreed with Inter and that came to fruition at the start of last week. football.london understands a fee the region of £98m was agreed upon.
A delay in the paperwork meant Lukaku didn’t fly to England until Wednesday.
His move was announced a little more than 24 hours later but the striker is in self-isolation and will not be able to join Tuchel’s squad until Monday.
That will mean Chelsea begin their Premier League campaign against Crystal Palace this afternoon without the influential figure of Lukaku at the spearhead of their attack.
Yet Tuchel preferred to focus on the positives when speaking to the media yesterday and has backed the Belgian to emulate his personal idol, Drogba, and Costa, who led Chelsea to two Premier League titles in three years.
“When I thought about Chelsea, before I even had the chance to be part of the club, I thought of a certain category of striker like Didier Drogba, like Diego Costa,” Tuchel explained.
“For me, this is something that embodies Chelsea and is something Chelsea stands for.”
The Blues head coach continued: “He is a true No.9, a No.9 that from the outside I always saw in a Chelsea shirt: strong personality, strong physicality.
“The Premier League demands it. Since I’ve worked here I understand why so many physical strikers are so needed and so successful.
“For me, he’s the perfect fit for Chelsea. What we did not talk about is that he is happy to take responsibility.
“He has matured, has played abroad, has had success at various big clubs. He will take the weight off the shoulders of our young strikers and younger players.
“It is a huge part of the story that he doesn’t step away, he is happy to make life easier for the players around him.
“Guys like Christian, Kai, Timo, they will benefit from him.”
Source by Football London