Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku is a ‘functional and dull’ player and it is not Chelsea’s fault the striker has gone five games without a goal, according to Paolo Di Canio.

The West Ham legend has criticised the Blues’ £98million summer signing for his recent dry spell and is clearly unimpressed by the Belgian.

On the Sky Calcio Club show, the 53-year-old said: ‘I heard Bergomi comparing Osimhen and Lukaku. But Osimhen has a different spirit, he’s not dull like him.

‘When the difficulty increased he scored no goals in five games with Chelsea. And it’s not Chelsea’s fault, they are first even without his goals.’

Di Canio, who played more than 100 times for West Ham and scored 47 goals for the club, went on to compare Lukaku with 36-year-old target man Fernando Llorente.

‘Lukaku does not score. Lukaku is a functional player, as he is Llorente (Fernando) was in Conte’s Juve.

‘Even if Lukaku is stronger than Llorente. Lukaku is functional to a certain type of game.’

Lukaku could yet prove to be the difference maker for Chelsea in helping them win the title this season but after a promising start has struggled.

He again drew a blank in the 1-0 win over Brentford at the weekend and his last goal for the Stamford Bridge club in the Premier League was on September 11.

Thomas Tuchel insists he is not worried about Lukaku’s lack of cutting edge in recent weeks. He defended the striker after the Brentford win and said: ‘I am not concerned as I felt him a bit tired, and then isolated because we were defending too deep as a block.

‘I felt him a bit tired. Altogether we produced a very strong 60 to 75 minutes, including Romelu and Timo (Werner).

‘Both of them, Romelu and Timo, were too far away to help us escape the pressure. That was the problem, but I have no concerns.

‘Normally the best thing is that he scores but he is very unselfish at the moment, looking for Timo in good situations.

‘And we had him in the situation (to score), it was a close offside decision.’

Lukaku’s international manager Roberto Martinez also felt moved to defend the forward recently, arguing: ‘His time in Italy with Inter Milan gave him another degree of maturity and this is a great moment in his career and the most outstanding thing about him is his goalscoring

‘His conversion rate is exceptional. Look at his goals, he is already the record scorer for the national team, and you will get the best out of him when you put him in those positions.’

Lukaku will fancy his chances of scoring if he is given the nod on Wednesday night in Chelsea’s Champions League clash with Malmo.

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