Chelsea vs Malmo: Thomas Tuchel admits Romelu Lukaku is ‘mentally tired’ after playing too much | football news

Thomas Tuchel has admitted that Romelu Lukaku is “mentally tired” and says his drought in front of goal was the result of him playing a lot in football in recent months.

Lukaku returned to Chelsea on a £97.5m deal this summer, and enjoyed a good start to his second spell at the club, scoring four goals in his first four matches.

However, the 28-year-old has gone six games without scoring for the Blues, while he left Belgium early after losing in the Nations League semi-finals this month with ‘muscular fatigue’.

Lukaku has already played three games for Belgium this season and made seven appearances at the end of the previous season – something Tuchel believes he has now absorbed.

The Chelsea boss said: “At the moment I feel that Romelu is a bit exaggerated – I think he has played many competitions with the national team.

“He is a fantastic athlete and a competitive youngster – he wants to go deep and win things. I know how much he would like to do well in the European Championship with Belgium and again in the Nations League.

“It means a lot to him to play for his country. If it doesn’t work out well, he always puts it on his shoulders, thinks about it, thinks about it.

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Chelsea top the Premier League but Tuchel thinks they still have ‘room for improvement’

“I feel like he’s a bit mentally tired. For me, he’s overplayed. It’s hard to judge if he needs a break, or is it better to keep him on the court?”

Tuchel believes Lukaku is not the only one of his players struggling as a result of their commitments to their national teams this year, saying: “It’s the same with Mason. [Mount] And Georgi (Georginio) – they suffered.

“They have a lot of weight that they can take for their countries – they love that and they are competitive. But if you play 1,000 matches a year, you can feel the weight.”

Tuchel’s comments come in the middle Plans – being pushed by FIFA’s Head of Global Football Development, Arsene Wenger For the biennial World Cups, this would add more pressure to the fixture schedule.

The German believes a lot of footballers are asking too much, saying, “The players play a lot. I’m a big fan of quality, not quantity. But that’s nothing new, and the next national break is coming soon.”

“In January and February we will have another competition (the Club World Cup and the FA Cup) to play in and things can be a little more difficult than they should be.

“The top players have to be in good shape because the spectators want to see the best players in top form. There is simply a lot of football and so many different competitions.”

Despite his fears that his players would be tired, Tuchel has led Chelsea to the top of the Premier League table.

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Free to watch: Highlights from Chelsea’s win over Brentford in the Premier League

However, they were deeply indebted to goalkeeper Edward Mendy for helping them achieve a goal 1-0 win over Brentford On Saturday, while their previous game saw they needed two late goals to beat 10-man Southampton at home.

Tuchel admitted that his team was not at its best despite the strong league results, saying: “I think we’ve been lacking a bit of form and lacking a little bit of enthusiasm in the last 100.

“But don’t forget we’re talking about the Premier League – the toughest league in the world. There’s no shame in playing a tough game at Brentford and there’s no shame in needing a late win against Southampton.

“It is very important that we are not ashamed and not too critical of ourselves. If you have difficult moments, you fight. We want to be a team that no one wants to play against and from there we try to improve.

“Will it be easy to win matches? I’m not sure. Maybe that’s normal and we have to accept the situation. We find ways to win matches but there is still room for improvement.”

Tuchel is not convinced by calls for a tactical switch

Chelsea’s recent disappointing performances have led to suggestions that Tuchel might switch from his tried and tested three-man defense for the first time since taking charge of Chelsea in January.

The Blues meet next time with Malmo at home on Wednesday in the Champions League, before facing Norwich, Southampton, Newcastle, Malmo again and Burnley.

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Gary Neville is confident Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side can face a serious title challenge against Manchester City and Liverpool

When asked if he would consider resorting to a four-player defense of what, on paper, seemed to be a favorable game series, Tuchel said: “Yes and no. We always think about that, but is it really a tactical thing??”

“Is there less value to being a difficult team to play against than being a team that always scores goals easily? We can take that step when we are completely convinced, but this game is about balance and we have found a balance.

“The main point is that we keep active, no matter what structure we play in, and the players help each other out on the field.

“We can create chances in any kind of structure. We can also score from counter-attacks – it’s not always about creating chances against an opponent who defends deeply.

“We are looking for solutions and one of the solutions might be to change the formation and play more offensive players. Let’s see.”

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