With the January transfer window just around the corner and growing concerns with Romelu Lukaku’s compatibility, Thomas Tuchel has already shown Marina Granovskaia the tools he needs to solve Chelsea’s latest dilemma.
The Blues’ club-record signing from Inter Milan hit the ground running upon his return to west London, finding the net four times in five games.
Lukaku then suffered a 347-minute goal drought in the Premier League before picking up a knock against Malmo, just as it seemed the Belgian had shifted into gear again.
Tuchel has since begun to reintegrate the 28-year-old but the two parties have already enjoyed their honeymoon period and now face a problem fuelled by the narrative that ‘Lukaku has always scored goals, so it must be Chelsea’s fault’.
The catalyst of frustration with the Belgian may stem from his inability to have salvaged a result off the bench against West Ham, but the notion that Chelsea have struggled to optimise Lukaku’s skillset remains true.
With such a high volume of games around the corner, there is no better time for Tuchel to crack the code, knowing that he has the safety net of the January transfer market to help him out if needs be.
Whether the Blues boss finds an in-house solution to unlocking Lukaku’s goal-scoring potential or not, Tuchel has already shown the board the signings he’ll need in the upcoming window if push comes to shove.
In the summer of 2016, Tuchel signed Raphael Guerreiro and Ousmane Dembele for Borussia Dortmund; the duo went on to become key figures under the Chelsea boss.
The duo helped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reach his highest ever domestic goal tally in a single season to date and they could have a similar effect alongside Lukaku.
Guerreiro and Dembele, who are worth a combined £81 million according to Transfermarkt, operated in a similar back-three formation to what the Blues work with now.
Their prior knowledge of Tuchel’s core tactical values would not only offer Chelsea cover with injuries but it’d also aid the integration of Lukaku into the German’s system.
Guerreiro rotated between left wing-back, left-back and centre-midfield under his former boss, potentially offering the Blues the chance to plug Ben Chilwell’s absence as well as the energy of N’Golo Kante in the middle if needs be.
Meanwhile, Dembele, whose contract at Barcelona expires at the end of the season, has been given a deadline of December 31 to decide his future, according to Spanish outlet SPORT.
The report adds that the 24-year-old’s agent has already held talks with Chelsea over a potential transfer deal for the France international.
While an approach for Dembele may seem a gamble with his eye-watering injury record, the winger enjoyed the best form of his career under Tuchel before warranting a £122 million move to Camp Nou – this time, he’s potentially available for free.