Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech offers Romelu Lukaku support after interview gaffe with Sky Italia
In a post-match interview with Viasport, via the Metro, Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech has revealed that the players have rallied around Romelu Lukaku after the comments made by the Belgian striker in an interview with Sky Italia.
Lukaku was left out of the Blues’ squad for their Premier League clash with Liverpool after the former Inter Milan man said he was not happy with his situation at Chelsea and criticized manager Thomas Tuchel for playing a different system.
Ziyech played down any ill feelings towards his teammate after the infamous interview, and said that the squad all supported Lukaku during a difficult few days for the Belgian.
“The only thing we can do is support him and make him not think about other things, just about the game – and I think that’s what we did the last couple of days. Like I said, that’s why we’re teammates, to support each other, and that’s what we did.”
After leaving him out against Liverpool, Tuchel restored Lukaku to the starting line-up in Chelsea’s 2-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final after the 28-year-old issued an official apology via an interview with Chelsea TV.
The Belgian striker led the line and put in an impressive display against Spurs, and Tuchel seemed pleased by the Belgian’s efforts. The German was full of praise for Lukaku for his commitment and defensive work during the game.
Tuchel now believes that a line has been drawn under the incident, and that he held positive talks with Lukaku regarding the situation.
“I expected it honestly because Romelu can handle pressure, he can handle adversity, and he seemed to be relaxed after the decision was made and we finished our talks. I felt him relaxed enough to have a performance like this.”
With all the controversy that has surrounded our No. 9 recently, it was genuinely good to see the striker putting in a shift for the team and impressing on his return against Tottenham. The Belgian is always a big miss for us when he isn’t available for selection, and he did himself no favours after criticizing the manager and airing his views in the interview.
Lukaku has tried to appease the Chelsea fans by issuing an official apology on the club’s website, and his display in the Carabao Cup semi-final was a step closer to winning back the fans. It is clear that his teammates and the staff have now put the incident behind them and have offered their support to the striker.
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Hopefully, we see a Lukaku who keeps his promise to the fans and continues to score goals and fire the club to silverware. The former Manchester United and Everton striker is one of the top forwards in the game, and if used correctly, could yield amazing results- as evidenced under Antonio Conte in Serie A last season.
But then again, this is a different league, Chelsea are a different team, and Tuchel is a different manager. It’s best that he keeps his head down and does what is asked of him on the ground by the German gaffer.