Romelu Lukaku is back in England and with a reputation to defend. The Belgium forward has made his first appearance for Chelsea and the rumor hushed by fans of the Blues seems already settled. His style and qualities make Chelsea better. Even Thomas Tuchel has referenced him as the missing piece of the jigsaw. Here’s why Lukaku’s stats matter in creating Tuchel’s tactics.
Lukaku’s stats on his Chelsea debut
Romelu Lukaku started the match against Arsenal. He lead Chelsea’s attacking line in a 3-4-1-2 formation. The Belgium striker, practically, replaced Timo Werner in the setup. It’s something we may see more of given Werner’s unpredictability in front of goal.
Lukaku’s stats on FootballCoin should make him a good choice for most fantasy football managers. He scored one goal, registered four blocked shots, was fouled once, and created three chances. He managed 36.3 points.
However, beyond that, Lukaku brings a focal point to Chelsea’s attack that would have been missing without Olivier Giroud who joined AC Milan this summer. The Belgium forward is a classic target man. However, he’s also the rare breed of striker that makes the best of his opportunities.
Lukaku’s stats in previous campaigns
When Romelu Lukaku left Manchester United, few fans of the Red Devils showed little concern. They should have. It took the player little to show himself as one of the best players in Serie A. Furthermore, arguably United has not yet been able to replace the player they’d previously transferred from Everton.
According to Statsbomb, Juventus dominated Inter Milan in terms of xG (expected goals). However, it was Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez’s efficiency in front of goal that made the difference. Lukaku scored 24 goals last season. He had an xG of 0.7 per game and 3 shots on target. Only Cristiano Ronaldo had a better xG, while Luis Muriel had more shots on target.
Lukaku departed Manchester United in 2019. His last season was deemed a failure by most. But, the stats seem to suggest something entirely different. Lukaku scored 12 goals in EPL and 2 in the UCL during the 2018/19 season.
In the EPL, the forward had an xG of 0.52, registered 2.24 shots, 1.3 of those on target. He was caught offside 0.94 times per game and even had a 50% tackle success rate.
Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea tactics and how Lukaku helps improve them
Romelu Lukaku is one of the best deep lying forwards in football. This was, again, confirmed by his performances for Belgium at Euro 2020. The striker was part of one of the tournament’s best teams. And, was it not for Italy’s clever, dirty defensive work, they could have even won it outright.
Chelsea was willing to pay €115.00 million for Lukaku, a former player for the Blues, now a Serie A winner. Few other teams could have afforded this transfer. More importantly, he was brought in to improve an already highly efficient team. Chelsea’s sole weakness last season appeared to be the performances of their strikers, Timo Werner, Olivier GIroud and Tammy Abraham.
In the match against Arsenal, Chelsea registered an xG of 3.64. A lot of this had to do with Lukaku’s work rate. The Blues held much of possession. Tuchel’s team looked to advance through the flanks through Reece James and Marcos Alonso. Kai Havertz and Mason Mount operated between the lines, in the center of the field.
Lukaku’s hold-up play and movement were indeed the final piece of the jigsaw as Tuchel admitted. Dominating the flanks, and creating superiority in midfield, Chelsea’s players only needed to rely on a dependable forward. When playing with his back to the goal, Lukaku could set up Havertz, Mount, or James. When running behind the defenders, it becomes nearly impossible for the opposition to stop him if he receives the ball.
Romelu Lukaku is already making Chelsea better. Not only is he replacing Olivier Giroud, a player with similar qualities. He is bringing with him the stats which prove that he is of his generation’s greatest goalscorers. Thomas Tuchel’s Champions League-winning team just got better.
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