Thomas Tuchel reviews Everton defeat
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Chelsea could rival Arsenal in the race for Inter Milan hotshot Lautaro Martinez in a bid to finally get the best out of Romelu Lukaku. The Blues club-record signing has struggled at Stamford Bridge since returning last summer, but a reunion with the £70million-rated Martinez could help Lukaku rediscover his golden touch.
The partnership between Lukaku and Martinez was the cornerstone of Inter’s stunning Serie A win back in the 2020/21 campaign; a triumph that ended the Italian giants’ agonising 11-year Scudetto drought.
But unfortunately, that title-winning side was dissected shortly afterwards. Inter’s influential coach Antonio Conte left the club just weeks before Lukaku was lured back to the Premier League by Chelsea in a £97.5m deal – but the Belgian striker has failed to live up to expectations since returning to Stamford Bridge.
The misfiring 28-year-old has endured a thoroughly rotten campaign, netting just 5 league goals all season, and his long-term future at the club remains unclear after his massively underwhelming return in front of goal. However, pursuing a deal for Martinez in the summer could prove to be the perfect tonic to Lukaku’s capital woes.
Reuniting the prolific pair – who racked up 49 goals in all competitions between them last year – could provide the spark Lukaku sorely needs to salvage his second spell with the Blues. Just one year on from raking in big bucks for Lukaku, Inter are prepared to cash in on Martinez, according to The Times; even though the 24-year-old has plundered 17 league goals again this term.
The Argentine could be available for around £70m with Inter desperate for cash, and his form has attracted big-name suitors such as Manchester United, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid. But Martinez’s desire to play in the Champions League could rule some candidates out – and leave the door open for Chelsea.
While Arsenal seem poised to finally end their multi-year exile from the Champions League, Thomas Tuchel’s side already have one foot in next year’s competition. And with fresh investment likely to come in the summer due to the ongoing takeover saga, the Blues should have cash to spend – if a deal can be wrapped up quickly.
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As impressive as Tuchel’s side were earlier in the campaign, they’ve been found wanting in front of goal on multiple occasions this year. And with Mason Mount currently topping Chelsea’s league scoring charts with just 10 goals, it seems a safe bet that Tuchel will push to add some more firepower to the reigning European champions squad in the summer.
Recreating the strikeforce that fired Inter to the Scudetto last year would finally enable Blues fan to see the best of Lukaku, while Martinez has the pace and versatility to become a star in his own right in the Premier League.
On paper, cashing in on Lukaku would be the easy option for Chelsea in the summer – particularly if they are intent on boosting their attacking options. But pursuing a deal for Martinez could be the smart option; giving the Blues a fresh striking option who could also breathe new life into Lukaku, just as he did in Italy.
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