Chelsea: Romelu Lukaku a ‘timebomb’ and no different to player who left Man United, says Carragher

Romelu Lukaku is a ‘timebomb’ in the Chelsea dressing room and no different to the player who left Manchester United despite his success at Inter Milan, says Jamie Carragher.

The Blues forked out a club-record £97.5million fee to re-sign Lukaku last summer, and when he marked his first four appearances with as many goals their investment appeared justified.

However, the Belgium striker has only scored another four in his next 19 outings; with two spells on the sidelines through injury and Covid, an explosive interview with Sky Italy and a string of underwhelming performances derailing his second stint at Stamford Bridge.


Jamie Carragher believes Romelu Lukaku is no different to the player who left Man United


After netting 64 goals in 95 games for Inter Milan and helping them clinch the Serie A title, Lukaku was supposed to be arriving back in west London as a mature, seasoned centre-forward at the peak of his powers.

But Carragher doesn’t think he is any different to the player who departed United on a sour note back in 2019. 

‘When Romelu Lukaku signed for Chelsea, the consensus was that he was a different player to that which left Manchester United,’ the Liverpool legend wrote in his column for The Telegraph.

Lukaku has generally failed to impress since heading back to Chelsea in the summer

Carragher doesn’t think the Belgian has improved despite his recent success at Inter Milan

‘Six months later, there is only one valid observation to make about his return to Stamford Bridge. He isn’t.

‘All the talk about how a couple of years working with this weekend’s opponent, Antonio Conte, have elevated Lukaku’s game tactically has proven premature. Thomas Tuchel is managing the same striker who prompted Manchester United to run out of patience and sell him to Inter Milan.

‘That’s why I can’t help but think there is a timebomb in the Chelsea dressing room, with the player and club already losing patience with each other. The recent furore over the interview Lukaku gave to Italian media was a hint of what might follow.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has singled out Lukaku for criticism over the past month

‘There has been a period of calm since, but if performances continue to underwhelm and Tuchel starts to give the impression his first choice XI does not have Lukaku’s name on it, it is likely the alarm bells have been paused, not deactivated.’

In their recent 1-0 defeat away at Manchester City and Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Brighton, Tuchel made a damning statement on both occasions by hooking Lukaku when Chelsea were chasing a late goal.

And Carragher believes they look much more threatening without him in the side, adding: ‘On paper, Chelsea look a more balanced side with Lukaku. The reality is they have been at their most fluid and dangerous without him.

Carragher believes Tuchel’s team look more threatening without him in the starting XI

‘Let’s not forget before Lukaku signed they won the Champions League final using the matchwinner, Kai Havertz, as a false nine.

‘Look at Chelsea’s most complete performances this season – the 4-0 Champions League win over Juventus, the best example. Lukaku was not in the starting line-up due to injury.’

He then concluded: ‘It is too soon to say paying £97.5 million to re-sign Lukaku was a mistake. If there is no radical upturn in form and Tuchel loses trust in the striker ahead of the biggest Premier League and Champions League games, it could become one.’


Read more:

  • Romelu Lukaku is a ticking timebomb at Chelsea