Chelsea star Romelu Lukaku issues public Thomas Tuchel demand after private talks

In pictures: Aston Villa v Chelsea

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Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has demanded clarity from manager Thomas Tuchel after the pair discussed how to get the best out of the Belgian’s skill-set. The Blues have lost ground in the Premier League title race over the past few weeks, although the 28-year-old’s return provides hope that they can make up the deficit.  

Tuchel was forced to plough on without Lukaku after the striker suffered a twisted ankle against Malmo in late October. 

He is still working to regain full fitness, but he was deemed fit enough to come off the bench against Aston Villa on Boxing Day to play a pivotal part in their 3-1 triumph. 

Lukaku’s first goal required superb movement to get across his defender, and he dispatched a textbook header into the bottom corner. 

And he was not done there, demonstrating that he is not just a danger in the box by breaking clear at pace and earning a penalty. 

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Having shown numerous attributes during his second-half cameo, the Belgian took his chance to detail recent talks with Tuchel behind the scenes and demand clarity. 

“Me and the coach, we had a couple of conversations about whatever he wanted from me,” he told ESPN Brasil.

“Obviously I told him I’m multidimensional.

“It’s just about having a bit of clarity about how he wants to use me. And then whatever he wants from me, I can do whatever aspects he wants for the game.

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“I can run in behind, I can press, I can hold the ball up. So I think throughout the years these are qualities I added to my game.

“So I just wanted an opportunity, I got it today, I’m happy that I helped the team, now I just want to move forward.”

Indeed, Lukaku has lofty expectations to live up to after a blockbuster £98million summer transfer from Inter Milan. 

In both of his two seasons at the San Siro, the frontman notched at least 30 goals in all competitions, cementing his name amongst the best strikers on the continent. 

Despite enjoying the best form of his career out in Italy, Lukaku claimed that returning to Chelsea, where he spent three years on the books as a youngster, was an opportunity too good to turn down. 

After a disappointing first spell at Stamford Bridge which saw Lukaku leave with 15 goalless appearances to his name, it took him just 15 minutes to get off the mark on his return. 

A promising start to the campaign suggested that his Inter form was likely to continue in west London, although the goals dried up and his ankle injury halted any remaining momentum. 

But with communication flowing both ways between player and manager, there is plenty of the season remaining for Lukaku to fire Chelsea back towards the Premier League’s summit. 

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