Kai Havertz over Romelu Lukaku? His role in Chelsea's win over Lille sets the standards Thomas Tuchel anticipates

Seven touches Saturday, none on Tuesday. The choice to bench Romelu Lukaku for Chelsea's Champions League win over Lille just adds to the examination on his Stamford Bridge has a hard time.

" If you have to require it then it most likely doesn't fit." That was the social media message published by Lukaku recently, leading many to question if it was a talk about his dilemma. Under the lights with a prize to defend, Thomas Tuchel stopped attempting to require it.

Rather, he went back to the forward who scored the winning goal for Chelsea in the Champions League final in May. The forward who scored the winning goal for Chelsea in the Club World Cup final in Qatar as just recently as recently. Kai Havertz provided again.

Chelsea 2-0 Lille - Match report

How the teams lined up|Match statistics

" I am really happy for Kai," said Thomas Tuchel. His effort, work rate and the volume and areas of the pitch that he covers for us is tremendous and very good. He is never ever shy of defending."

Tuchel might have highlighted Havertz's defensive work but it is time to start calling him a striker. This is no false 9. He comes brief and he leaves the area, but he also runs in behind and he scores goals that any forward - Lukaku consisted of - would like to score.There was a stumble upon the near post, gambling on the ball can be found in. There was a header straight from a corner, just the sort of chance an authentic No 9 seizes upon.

The very first was missed and the second was scored against Lille. Both came inside the very first 10 minutes. Midway through the very first half, Havertz had actually enjoyed in 15 touches of the ball - more than two times as many as Lukaku had managed at Crystal Palace at the weekend.

Why did Tuchel choose Havertz to Lukaku? "We concentrated on strength, high speed and effort off the ball," he described. "Romelu had a hard time in the last games to deliver that."While Tuchel is not surprisingly frustrated "nearly every question has to do with Romelu" his own description for his selection decision damns the man Chelsea paid ₤ 97.5 m to give the club.

Why can't Lukaku deliver what Tuchel wants?

Let us be clear about his qualifications because it is too simple to suggest that Lukaku is just overrated. This is the Serie A player of the year, a man with more than 100 caps for his country who is averaging 23 goals a season almost over a decade.

No foreign player currently playing in the Premier League has actually scored more goals in the competition- not Cristiano Ronaldo and not Mohamed Salah. Yet, at the age of 28, when he should be in his prime, the man who ought to have nothing to prove has it all to do.Perhaps Tuchel's comments when Lukaku initially signed must have been a cause for concern. "I think, with the exit of Olivier Giroud, we could use a player utilized to playing with their back to goal, whose strength is to keep possession from long balls."

That understanding that Lukaku is a hold-up man, a target around which Chelsea might construct their attacks, hinted at this function change from the outset. What Lukaku and his admirers would point out is he has actually never ever rather been the player that his body recommends.He is capable of that. The robust display against Arsenal in August, when Pablo Mari was effectively bullied out of the football club, was captivating but it was likewise irregular.

Lukaku has long been more comfortable when dealing with goal, running towards it, utilizing his speed and strength to go past individuals. That counter-attacking game with Lautaro Martinez for company saw him rejuvenated at Inter after his struggles at Manchester United.

When former Inter forward Karl-Heinz Rummenigge noted Lukaku was revealing "technical abilities that were not seen so much in Manchester" this was what he suggested.Not only did Lukaku score goals, he created the most chances and completed one of the most dribbles. This was the player they were buying for a club-record charge and it was a player worth buying. The one they are deploying at Chelsea, not so much.

The contrast between the heatmaps from last season and this highlights the problem. At Inter, there was licence to wander into that half space, Lukaku's favoured zone off the extreme right where he might cut within and thread passes or fire off shots of his own.

Now he has become a more peripheral figure specifically since he does not endeavor to the periphery of the pitch. Staying central, perversely, has implied staying out of the way.Lukaku has actually gone from having three shots per game for Inter to having two shots per game at Chelsea. It is not an ending up issue, he just isn't as included. Playing in the width of penalty box and waiting is not his game - and it is not Chelsea's game.

His self-confidence seems to have taken a hit. "Kai remains in good condition and full of confidence," Tuchel stated of his alternative. The challenge Lukaku is facing now is that when the big games come and Tuchel wants strength and motion he is likely to look elsewhere.

There was an informing line from the coach about his change of defensive shape before kick-off. "When in doubt it is always a reason to go with something that the team is used to." It might just as easily apply to Lukaku. When in doubt, he could well turn to Havertz instead.

That is because Lukaku has not joined  a club, as Diego Costa performed in 2014, that was, in the words of Jose Mourinho, awaiting him. He has actually joined  a club that had actually just climbed the mountain without him, signed to fix a problem not everyone will have felt existed.

To succeed at Chelsea, he will be anticipated to adjust to them not them to him.Lukaku might yet make a recall for the cup final, presenting him with the chance to win a very first domestic prize in English football. "Every game is various," states Tuchel. "This was the choice for today. We have 4 days to recover and choose the team for Sunday."

But it is Havertz, not Lukaku, who seems to have actually developed himself as Chelsea's go-to man up front.

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