Failed Romelu Lukaku transfer sends Roman Abramovich Chelsea’s final message to Todd Boehly – Daniel Childs
There is probably an alternate reality where Romelu Lukaku returned to Chelsea and instantly clicked like he did for Thomas Tuchel, but instead of the slow regression to disappointment he would maintain that early form leading the Blues to a title of the Premier League.
Perhaps that reality could have happened five years ago when the Belgian looked set to sign for Chelsea under Everton’s Antonio Conte before opting for Manchester United instead, a move that ended in a disappointment.
Although those days of superstars showing up and solving all your problems seem to be behind us. The days when the obvious name was given such license to impose its will on a team at elite level seemed like an anomaly rather than the norm.
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The 2021/22 Premier League season has been a great case study for that, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lukaku returning to England after success in Serie A.
Although both scored goals, the two became the center of a conversation about whether their profiles best suited the teams they were on. the league. Although Ronaldo scored over 20 goals in a rather mediocre United side, the debate over his suitability remains.
In France, PSG have also discovered that their paltry spending on a number of stars, led by the arrival of Lionel Messi at the end of August, could not prevent their now annual collapse in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Lukaku was the dream signing of many Chelsea supporters, myself included. He seemed to be the name to finally replace Diego Costa and provide the talismanic presence that had been so lacking since the previous title win.
Many reasons will be attributed to Lukaku’s failure. His toughest critics will put the blame solely on his doorstep, the inability to adapt to Tuchel’s demands. The Sky Italia interview and alleged recalls to Inter Milan detailing his unhappiness in west London shortly after he became lyrical about what playing for Chelsea meant to him.
There is also another side looking at Tuchel, the system Chelsea play with, and the wider scouting of a £97m player whose attributes would not align with the squad Tuchel had already built. during his first five months in charge.
It seems quite symbolic that Lukaku was the last notable addition to the Roman Abramovich era, as he reflects how the market and the sport has changed in recent years. Lukaku was the ready option now that fit in with Chelsea’s ruthless, short-sighted mindset, one that had led the club to great success under Abramovich in nearly 20 years.
The distribution of an academy product like Tammy Abraham to Roma to make way for Lukaku provided an eerily similar repeat to the events of 2014 when it was young Lukaku deemed surplus to current coach’s requirements to make way. place in Costa.
In this era, the sale of Lukaku would do little to damage Chelsea’s instant fortunes, as Costa proved to be one of the club’s most notable additions, his goals leading Chelsea to two league titles. during his short stay of three years. Lukaku, however, only added to the confusion after Costa, and it’s Abraham who now looks like another young talent that a coach got rid of far too soon.
Todd Boehly should pay close attention to this example, hoping the property is able to embrace broader change to adapt to the new landscape, putting in place a recruiting team that focuses on people first. profiles, not on superstars.