Rumors were doing rounds that Thomas Tuchel has decided to reshape the Chelsea team in the summer. The reshaping would mostly see the roles of some crucial players change in order to bring out the best out of them. Tuchel will also consider new transfers, but first he wants to address the problem of big-money signings who haven’t deliver. And with the new model Tuchel has in his head, record signing Romelu Lukaku is set to be benefited the most.
Many of Chelsea’s big-money signings have considerably failed to live up to the expectations. Romelu Lukaku since his return last summer is yet to fire loads of goals. Moreover, his viral interview also created a rift in which he blamed Tuchel’s system for his poor form. But finally, Tuchel has identified the two pivotal players he plans to build his system around.
Thomas Tuchel to develop Havertz-Lukaku partnership
Chelsea splashed a mammoth €113 million on Lukaku last summer after his couple of powerful seasons at Inter. The Blues lacked a quality number-9 who could score week-in week-out. However, Lukaku’s signings hasn’t helped them much. The Belgian has only 10 goals in his 27 appearances so far this season. He openly criticized Thomas Tuchel’s system which didn’t help him in the attack. But since then he issued an open apology to the club. Tuchel too has stepped-up to help Lukaku regain his scoring touch. Tuchel is now planning to deploy Kai Havertz as the strike partner to Lukaku.
Kai Havertz has also not delivered to the standards of his €81 million price tag. It was quite evident that he struggled to cope-up with the premier league in his debut season. But Tuchel’s new plan is set to benefit the German player too. Tuchel experimented with Havertz as the second striker to Lukaku in the Club World Cup campaign. And the experiment reaped brilliant results as both Havertz and Lukaku worked wonders. Lukaku seemed to enjoy his time on the field, scoring the only goal in the semi-final to take the Blues to the final. In the final too, Lukaku opened the scoring with towering header. His these exploits were clearly a result of Havertz partnering him up in attack.
Tuchel to adapt more attacking approach
Lukaku has given his best output whenever playing with a strike-partner. Lukaku’s two-season stint at Inter, which urged Chelsea to go all the way for him is the best illustration. Antonio Conte used a 3-5-2, with Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez as the two strikers. Lukaku went on to score a massive 64 goals in 95 games for Inter. Moreover, he ended both his seasons in Serie A with 20+ goals and a combined 12 assists. An interesting fact was that Martinez too scored 40 goals in his two seasons alongside Lukaku. Likewise, Havertz too showcased his form in the two games he was paired along with Lukaku. Thomas Tuchel clearly sees this as a win-win situation, through which his team could put the ball in the back of the net more often.
However, Thomas Tuchel’s dilemma before he could unleash Havertz-Lukaku would be; Which formation to go with? The Chelsea manager favors a three-man defense, often going for 3-4-3 formation. It is quite understandable why he loves a 3-4-3 as the formation won him the Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup with Chelsea. But if he wants the best out of two of Chelsea’s record signings, he has to go for a more attacking formation, thus dropping the third defender. A 4-2-2-2 was used by Tuchel in the EFL cup against Tottenham, which worked well too. Last couple of months saw Tuchel use over 4 different formations, and should not shy away from trying a 3-5-2 line-up too.
If Thomas Tuchel succeeds in building-up a striking chemistry between Havertz and Lukaku, the Chelsea attack could be a force to reckon. Chelsea are gearing up for summer signings too, which would further help Tuchel. But first and foremost, the manager needs to explore the formation which could facilitate Havertz-Lukaku strike partnership.