- Romelu Lukaku has been in shining form at Roma, with eight goals in ten games
- Joe Cole questioned why the club let him go and said something is ‘wrong’
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While Christopher Nkunku’s pre-season injury is a mitigating factor in their relative lack of threat, Chelsea look like up front with Nicolas Jackson their only out-and-out striker available.
‘With Romelu Lukaku, for all of his faults, he was in the door,’ Cole told TNT Sports. ‘He was a success at Inter Milan, he scored goals at Everton and West Brom in this country, why couldn’t he score goals at Chelsea? What was wrong [with him]?
Joe Cole said ‘something is fundamentally wrong’ at Chelsea amid their scoring woes and questioned why they let Romelu Lukaku leave on loan again
Lukaku has been in scintillating form in Italy, scoring eight goals in ten outings for Roma
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‘He is scoring goals now for Roma. So we have to look within ourselves, what is wrong with this club at the moment?
‘I don’t blame the manager one bit. Him and his staff are doing everything they can and I don’t even blame the players. They are all top players.
‘The squad is unbalanced, but there is something wrong fundamentally with the club at the moment.’
‘You here all the buzz words around the club but at the end of the day, we can’t score goals.’
In fairness to Chelsea, Lukaku was always going to be a hot potato to handle this summer.
He was desperate to force a move back to Inter Milan, where he reached the Champions League final on loan last season, and reportedly refused to turn up to training.
Even when he did, he was made to train with the U21s as he had fallen out of favour at Stamford Bridge.
There were talks with Juventus over a deal involving £38.5million plus Dusan Vlahovic but that never went ahead.
While Lukaku has been a consistent goalscorer throughout his career, he has a sour relationship with Chelsea
In Italy, he has been revitalised at Roma and Inter Milan, where he reached the Champions League final last season
Lukaku has a ‘special relationship’ with Jose Mourinho, who has managed him in the past
Mauricio Pochettino made Lukaku train with the Chelsea U21s over the summer
It has worked out for him at Roma, where he is managed by Jose Mourinho, his former boss at Chelsea and Manchester United who he admits he has a ‘special relationship’ with.
On his form under the Portuguese boss, he said: ‘As I’ve said in the past, he and I have a special relationship. He knows me and my children,’ said the Roma striker. ‘He’s someone I can trust, and he puts his trust in me. He’s tough, but that’s the only way that I can grow.’
It is hard to say whether his form with the Giallorossi represents what he would have done had he stayed at Stamford Bridge.
An explosive interview with Sky Sport Italia in December 2021, in which he said he was ‘not happy’ at Chelsea, led to him falling out with Thomas Tuchel and is seen as a pivotal moment that soured relations between him and the club.