Lukaku issue ‘too big’ and ‘too noisy’ — Tuchel explains Belgian’s absence

Romelu Lukaku was not included in Chelsea's squad for the visit of Liverpool

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says he dropped Romelu Lukaku for the Blues’ Premier League clash with Liverpool as the issue had become ‘too big’ and ‘too noisy’.

The Belgian striker was left out of Chelsea’s matchday squad completely after it broke earlier in the day that he would not be included.

Speaking in an interview with Sky Italia that was recently broadcast, Lukaku said that he was unhappy with the situation at Stamford Bridge.

Speaking ahead of the visit from Liverpool, Tuchel said: “The thing got too big, the thing got too noisy close to the match. So I decided to protect the preparation of the match — that’s why he’s out.”

Asked if he had spoken with Lukaku, the Chelsea boss said: “Of course, we have spoken. We have spoken twice. I have spoken to the main players.

“After that, we had to realise it’s too close to the match, it’s too big. We delayed the decision [of] what to do.

“Why we are delaying it: we have a big match of football to play and we need full focus which is anyway hard to get, even with this decision.

“But it is, in my opinion, easier if he’s not in the squad and that’s why we did it.”

Tuchel added: “For sure it was a difficult decision to take but, in my opinion, it was the decision to take.”

Romelu Lukaku's Premier League shot map for the 2021-22 season
Romelu Lukaku’s Premier League shot map for the 2021-22 season

Lukaku, who rejoined Chelsea for £97.5million from Inter Milan in the summer, had been unhappy with his lack of minutes for the Blues.

He said: “Physically I’m doing great. I’m just not very happy with the situation, but that’s normal.

“I think the boss has decided to play a different formation, but I have to stick at it and get on with it professionally. I’m not happy with the situation, but it’s my job and I mustn’t give up.”

Lukaku has scored five times in eight Premier League starts, making a further five appearances as a substitute.

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