Chelsea Boss Thomas Tuchel Issues Apology to Inter Supporters for Taking Romelu Lukaku Away

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has sent a message of apology to Inter for depriving them of the services of Romelu Lukaku in the summer. The reigning Champions League holders forked out £100m to re-sign the Belgium international in the recently completed transfer window.

Lukaku was one of Inter’s standout performers during his illustrious two-year spell at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. After racking up 34 goals in his inaugural season under Antonio Conte, the 28-year-old tallied 30 strikes in 44 competitive appearances last term en route to helping the Nerazzurri end their 11-year Serie A title drought.

The Belgian’s eye-catching showings in Italy caught Chelsea’s attention in the summer. With last summer’s marquee signing Timo Werner struggling for composure in front of goal, Tuchel was determined to acquire the signature of a top-class marksman following the Blues’ title-winning Champions League campaign. 

Chelsea turned their attention towards Lukaku as Borussia Dortmund’s staggering valuation of their sought-after striker Erling Braut Haaland blew the Londoners out of the water. The Norwegian goal-machine was Tuchel’s prime transfer target in the summer, but the Bundesliga heavyweights were reluctant to budge on Haaland’s stratospheric £150m price tag. 

The Premier League powerhouse eventually brought Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge in August, with the ex-Manchester United’s flop repaying the club’s trust in the early exchanges. ‘Big Rom’ has recorded four goals in nine competitive outings this term, including three in six in England’s top-flight as Chelsea top the standings heading into mid-October’s restart.

Tuchel, who knows the extent of the damage Chelsea caused by taking Lukaku away from Inter, issued an apology to the Nerazzurri supporters in his latest interview.

I’m sorry for the Inter fans but like everyone, we try to improve. We identified a certain profile, a very physical striker, a reference, a player with a personality who could take the pressure off the shoulders of the youngest. A player who allowed us to play faster football,” he said, as relayed by the Metro.

There aren’t many players like that. When we have the chance to bring Lukaku back, it was an important moment for us. He said he was fine where he was, he worked extraordinarily with [Antonio] Conte and Inter. 

But then returning and finishing his career in England, where he played as a young man, was important. Lukaku wanted to play for Chelsea for these reasons and everything went well.

Despite undergoing significant changes in the summer, Inter have enjoyed a decent start to their new Serie A campaign. Simone Inzaghi’s men welcomed October’s international window in third, trailing top-placed Napoli by a mere four points as one of just three Italian sides yet to lose a league fixture this season.