The Belgium international publicly apologised to Blues supporters for some of the distracting headlines he caused with his quotes, and Thomas Tuchel notably dropped him from his matchday squad for the Liverpool game.
Chadwick can’t understand why Lukaku did the interview in the first place, as it only seems to have made life more difficult for himself by upsetting everyone around him.
“It’s incredibly strange really, the whole interview,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside. “It felt like it was all geared around pursuing a move back to Inter Milan, the club that sold him because they’ve got no money! Surely they’d never be able to afford to buy him back.
“I think Tuchel did what he had to do, in terms of leaving him out of the squad, and obviously pressure’s been put on him and he’s come out and apologised now. It just seems like a no-win situation for Lukaku. He’s upset his manager, his team-mates, and the Chelsea fan-base. It just didn’t make any sense.
“It’s not great for Chelsea but it will be interesting to see if he can now come back and make a difference. Tuchel knows he’s still a massively gifted player and someone who could be effective before the end of the season. It’s a strange state of affairs really, and something Chelsea could’ve really done without, especially with the run of form they’ve been in in the last five or six weeks.”
Lukaku notably had a spell at Chadwick’s old club Man Utd, though the former Red Devils ace isn’t sure that the player’s attitude was the main problem for him at Old Trafford.
Chadwick also feels that it’s fairly normal for big players like Lukaku to come with a bit of baggage, and that’s something Chelsea boss Tuchel will have to work around, as he’s too good a player and too big an investment for the west London giants to be letting go.
“I’m not privy to what happened with him at Man United. He wasn’t at his best there, particularly physically, but he turned into more of a lean machine at Inter Milan and still looks in great shape now,” Chadwick said.
“World class players do come with a bit of an edge, that’s what they’re about, you can’t really take that away from them. It’s about the manager and the coaches managing that and getting the best out of them. Tuchel’s a top manager and he’ll be looking to get the best out of Lukaku. There is obviously a bit of baggage there, he’s an outspoken character but that’s what you get with the top world class players.
“With Lukaku being out for quite a long time, they have sort of built a new identity, with Hudson-Odoi, Werner, Havertz, more mobile players. They play more like false-nines, dropping deep, coming into wide areas.
“I’m not sure anyone could replace Lukaku who’s available. They’ve found a way of playing without him, but that probably wouldn’t have happened if he’d stayed fit. You maybe get the sense Lukaku wasn’t happy that they’d changed the way they played. But I’m sure if he’s at his best and training well, he’s got to start.
“I’m not sure they’d be ready to sell him, and I’m not sure many clubs out there could afford him. They’re hardly going to sell him on the cheap because they spent big money on him less than six months ago.”