Romelu Lukaku has issued an apology to Chelsea fans, as well as coach Thomas Tuchel and his Blues teammates, after comments he made in an interview with Sky Italia last week caused an uproar among the club, the media and fans.
Lukaku stated in the interview, recorded three weeks earlier but released just before the new year, that he was unhappy with Tuchel’s tactics, adding that he hoped to return to Inter Milan one day due to his connection to the Italian club that helped lead to a league title last season.
While his comments were less inflammatory than they may have appeared in some initial translations, they still made it clear that Lukaku did not exactly agree with the manager, and that he felt the tactics employed were less than a perfect fit for his set of abilities.
Lukaku suffered the consequences of his words, as he was left out of the team in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool on January 2. Tuchel acknowledged the poor optics of Lukaku’s words before the Liverpool game, although he clearly did not find them. As offensive as some fans, and now within days of the interview posting, everything has apparently been fixed from the inside out.
Romelu Lukaku’s video apology to fans
In a video posted on Chelsea’s Twitter account, Lukaku first addressed fans and apologized for the appearance that he was looking for a way out just months after arriving from Inter in the summer of 2021.
“To the fans, I’m sorry for the upset I caused,” Lukaku said. “You guys know the connection I have with this club since my teens, so I totally understand that you are upset. Obviously now it is up to me to restore your confidence and I will do my best to show commitment every day – on training ground and on games to make sure we win games. “
He then addressed his apology to the manager and his teammates, acknowledging the distraction it caused.
“I apologize to the coach, my teammates and the squad because I think it was not the right time and I want to move forward to make sure that we start winning football games and that I perform in the best way for the team.” “
Chelsea will play Tottenham on Wednesday 5 January in the Carabao Cup, and with Lukaku returning to training, Tuchel could select the Belgian to lead the front row. That could see US international Christian Pulisic fall to the wing, where he has replaced the injured Reece James.
It is certainly in Tuchel’s interest to fix this quickly, as Lukaku has been a vital piece of Chelsea’s season thus far.
The Belgian has five goals and one assist so far in 13 Premier League appearances, including goals in each of his last two matches, and the team as a whole has looked more dangerous up front in the presence of Lukaku.
Against Aston Villa on Boxing Day, Lukaku came off the bench and turned the game around, scoring one goal and assisting another in the 3-1 victory. He then scored Chelsea’s only goal in a 1-1 draw at home against Brighton.