Enzo Maresca sends clear message to Romelu Lukaku amid transfer problem inheritance

Enzo Maresca sends clear message to Romelu Lukaku amid transfer problem inheritance

Chelsea manager Enzo Maresca has been given advice on how to handle out-of-favour striker Romelu Lukaku after numerous transfer windows of

The Belgian international returned to Stamford Bridge back in 2021 under Thomas Tuchel in a then-club record fee of £97.5 million from Serie A side Inter Milan before quickly stoking controversy in late December of that year which saw him claim about not being ‘happy’ under Tuchel during an interview with Sky Italia.

Lukaku claimed that the head coach had ‘has chosen to play with another system’, comparing the teams tactics with that at Inter and then went on to express his wish to return to Inter ‘in the near future’. That led to him being dropped by Tuchel for the upcoming clash against Liverpool and he eventually returned to Inter on a season-long loan deal the next summer.

The next season, he landed a loan move to Roma in which his entire salary for the season was paid for by the Serie A club. Under Jose Mourinho, the 31-year-old scored 21 goals from 47 appearances across all competitions but is now set to return to Stamford Bridge yet again with no hope for any gametime.

Since then however, a change in the dugout has seen Mauricio Pochettino walk away from the job and owner Todd Boehly appoint Maresca in his stead. While the Blues have reaffirmed their stance on Lukaku and their hope to secure a permanent sale of him in the coming weeks, that was while Pochettino had been in charge.

As Maresca arrives, he has now inherited arguably Chelsea’s biggest singular-player issue for years and must decide what to do about it. The star’s release clause is believed to be £38m, and while clubs have started offering cheaper offers, it’s not looked fantastic business-wise ahead of the window’s official opening next week.

However, Belgium’s national team manager Dominic Tedesco has highlighted the positives around Lukaku, and believes that he can be a real mentor to young players – of which Maresca’s squad is almost entirely made up of – and says that his knowledge of the game is world-class.

“He plays an incredibly important role both on and off the pitch. On the pitch, his goals speak for themselves but there’s more to him than that,” Tedesco claimed when speaking to UEFA’s official website. “He knows exactly when he should pass if he has his back to goal or if he can turn round and shoot at goal himself.

“He is dangerous in lots of situations, not just in set pieces, crosses. In the last third of the pitch, he is unpredictable and difficult to defend against. I don’t think many defenders would choose to defend against him.

“But his importance off the pitch is undoubted because he knows lots of players, particularly young players, whom he can look after and become a sort of mentor to. He concerns himself with many things, he looks after many things in the dressing room, which makes him extremely important.”

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