Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel warned of Roman Abramovich backlash – ‘It doesn’t make sense’

Tuchel's damning assessment of Chelsea's draw at Zenit

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has been questioned over his treatment of club-record signing Romelu Lukaku and warned he could face backlash from owner Roman Abramovich. Belgium striker Lukaku rejoined Chelsea from Inter Milan in the summer for £97.5million. He scored four goals in his first four matches of the season but has netted just once since.

Lukaku missed over a month of action due to an ankle injury.

He returned as a late substitute in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United on November 28.

However, he is still yet to start since recovering from the injury, making four further appearances from the bench.

Chelsea have won just two of their last five matches, including a defeat at West Ham and a draw at Zenit St Petersburg.

Lukaku scored against the Russian side for the second time this season.

But was again named on the bench for the Premier League clash against Leeds on Saturday.

Former Aston Villa forward Gabriel Agbonlahor cannot understand why Tuchel continues to leave Lukaku out, especially with his side struggling in recent matches.

“I think Thomas Tuchel needs a kick up the backside as well because I’m looking at Lukaku, a £97m striker, on the bench again,” Agbonlahor said on talkSPORT.

“He’s played 78 minutes in four Premier League games. Lukaku wasn’t out for five months, he was out for five games.

“I’ve been there, if you’ve been out for five games after one game where you come on for 20 minutes, you’re ready to start.

“It doesn’t take another four games and you’re playing someone like [Timo] Werner in front of him who is not a Chelsea player, nowhere near, because he’s been miles off it since he’s come to Chelsea. Not been good enough. The odd game he’ll score a good goal but nowhere near good enough.”

Agbonlahor reckons Lukaku will be angry with how he is being treated.

And he also thinks owner Abramovich will be wondering why his expensive signing is not featuring more.

Agbonlahor added: “If I’m Lukaku I’m thinking, ‘I left Inter as a £97m striker to come to Chelsea and I’m only getting brought on [against Leeds] because they need a goal in the 87th minute’.

“He probably wouldn’t have brought him on if they were winning.

“Lukaku will be fuming. He started off the season as the main man and there was talk of Lukaku needing a rest because he was playing every minute in the Champions League and the Premier League and all of a sudden he can’t get on the pitch and you’re playing Werner and [Kai] Havertz, who are not performing.

“It just doesn’t make sense. If I’m the Chelsea owner I’m thinking, ‘I paid £90m for this guy – play him’.

“He’s not going to have changed in form from the start of the season, get him on the pitch, he’ll score goals.”

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