The striker was placed on the substitutes’ bench for Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 encounter against Real Madrid.
Thomas Tuchel has explained his decision to rest Romelu Lukaku for Chelsea’s Champions League match against Lille on Tuesday, stating that the striker is “a little bit exhausted.” Lukaku has been in dismal form for Chelsea recently, with his most recent outing being a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League in which he touched the ball only seven times in 90 minutes.
He has also played practically every game for Chelsea this season when he has been available, including in the team’s recent successful Club World Cup campaign, and Tuchel believes his star forward deserves a break.
What exactly was said?
When asked about the decision to bench Lukaku, Tuchel said as follows to BT Sport: “I had the impression that he was a little fatigued. He appeared to be a little worn out, which is understandable given how much he had been playing.
“Because of the additional time [in the Club World Cup final] and the amount of traveling he’s done recently, it wasn’t easy for him to play against Palace; this wasn’t his greatest effort.
In that case, perhaps it will be a little bit easier for him to come off the bench tonight and turn things around if we require him to do so.”