Chelsea can be best team in Europe if Lukaku is used correctly, says Conte

By Sports Desk September 29, 2021

Romelu Lukaku is being misused by Chelsea and the Blues could be the best team in Europe if they utilise him correctly, according to Antonio Conte. 

The Belgium star returned to Stamford Bridge for a club-record £97.5million fee from Inter in the close season, having scored 24 goals in 36 Serie A games during last term's title-winning campaign under Conte. 

The 28-year-old has managed four goals in seven outings in all competitions for the Blues, including the winner against Zenit in their Champions League opener. It made him only the second player to score for two English clubs on debut in the competition after Mario Balotelli. 

However, Conte believes Thomas Tuchel can get more out of his new signing to make Chelsea the best team in Europe. 

"He [Romelu Lukaku] is a very specific striker," Conte told Sky Sport Italia ahead of Chelsea's Champions League clash with Juventus on Wednesday. 

"Bringing Lukaku into the box, he is dangerous. However, when he starts from midfield, he is incredibly quick. It is very difficult to find a player who is a target man but can also run from midfield. 

"The good thing about Romelu is that he can hurt you anywhere. If you keep him far away from the penalty area, he can kill you with his pace. If you have him in the box, he has the physicality to be a target man. 

"Last season, they didn’t have a proper centre-forward, so they rotated positions, whereas Romelu is a real reference point in attack. If they can figure out how to use Lukaku, Chelsea can become the team to beat in the Champions League this season." 

Indeed, Lukaku has gone from strength to strength following his first goal for Chelsea against Arsenal in his 16th appearance for the club, nine years and 360 days after his initial debut. 

But Conte insists Lukaku, who last term became the only player in the past 15 Serie A seasons to have at least 20 goals and 10 assists in a single campaign, can offer more for Tuchel if the Blues utilise him correctly. 

"He is a generous, one who also gives you assists," Conte continued. "This is Lukaku's specific [talent], which I also see in [Erling] Haaland. 

"He still has room for technical improvement, but he has already reached very high levels. He can improve in some phases of the game, he needs to be switched on sometimes. 

"He is impressive, he is one of the most difficult forwards to face. He must always be played, but at Chelsea they have not quite understood how to use him." 

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Rangnick identifies first Man Utd signing, Mourinho's Roma job in danger Rumour Has It: Rangnick identifies first Man Utd signing, Mourinho's Roma job in danger

    Ralf Rangnick has been tasked with restoring the fortunes of struggling Premier League giants Manchester United.

    His previous work at RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga has sparked speculation regarding possible transfers.

    That has led to talk regarding Amadou Haidara.

     

    TOP STORY – HAIDARA WANTED AT OLD TRAFFORD

    Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick wants to make RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara his first signing, according to The Sun.

    Rangnick has been appointed until the end of the season and talk of January incomings have already emerged.

    The German brought Haidara to Leipzig during his time at the Bundesliga club and he is believed to be interested in reuniting with the 23-year-old star.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Staying at Old Trafford and El Nacional reports United want Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, having rebuffed a proposal for Philippe Coutinho.

    - Portuguese journalist Pedro Almeida claims Jose Mourinho's job as Roma head coach is in danger following another defeat, this time 3-0 to former club Inter in Serie A on Saturday. Mourinho has cut a frustrated figure amid just three wins in nine league games. Mourinho has also been linked with Everton as pressure mounts on Rafael Benitez.

    Chelsea and Arsenal are both interested in Paris Saint-Germain forward Mauro Icardi, says Ekrem Konur. The Argentina international has been linked with Barca, Newcastle United, Tottenham and Juventus.

    - According to The Sun, Ligue 1 giants PSG are lining up a bid for Wolves' left-back star Rayan Ait-Nouri.

    - Widespread reports claim Leipzig are seriously considering the sacking of head coach Jesse Marsch, who only replaced Julian Nagelsmann at the start of the season. Leipzig have lost three consecutive Bundesliga games for the first time in their history.

  • Spurs stun Curry's Warriors, Bulls rally past Nets Spurs stun Curry's Warriors, Bulls rally past Nets

    After snapping the Phoenix Suns' franchise-record winning streak, the high-flying Golden State Warriors crashed back down to earth in a shock 112-107 defeat to the San Antonio Spurs.

    In the second of back-to-back games, having halted Phoenix's memorable 18-game run, the league-leading Warriors (19-4) were unable to rally past the Spurs on home court in the NBA on Saturday.

    The Spurs (8-13) used an 8-1 run to close out the game for their fourth consecutive victory, fuelled by Dejounte Murray's 22 points and 12 rebounds.

    Stephen Curry scored 27 points for the Warriors, who had won 11 successive home games – tied for their longest home winning streak since they claimed 54 straight from January 2015 to March 2016.

     

    Bulls battle past Nets

    The Chicago Bulls went on a rampage at Barclays Center, where they overturned a double-digit deficit to trump the Eastern Conference-leading Brooklyn Nets 111-107. Zach LaVine (31 points) and DeMar DeRozan (29 points) inspired the Bulls in the Eastern Conference blockbuster. Kevin Durant led the Nets with 28 points, while James Harden had 14 points and 14 assists.

    Jayson Tatum (also 10 rebounds) and Dennis Schroder scored 31 points apiece to lead the Boston Celtics to a 145-117 blowout of the Portland Trail Blazers, who were without Damian Lillard.

    Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic put up 32 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in just 27 minutes as the Denver Nuggets beat the slumping New York Knicks 113-99.

    No Giannis Antetokounmpo? No worries for defending champions the Milwaukee Bucks, who defeated the Miami Heat 124-102. Bobby Portis sparked the Bucks with 19 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks. He is the first Bucks player with a 15/15/2/2/2 game in under 30 minutes since 1984.

     

    George unable to lift Clippers

    Paul George finished with a double-double but it was a rough night for him and the Los Angeles Clippers following a 104-99 loss at the Sacramento Kings. George only made five of his shots from the floor, while turning the ball over five times on the road.

  • Struggling Seahawks activate Peterson for 49ers clash Struggling Seahawks activate Peterson for 49ers clash

    The Seattle Seahawks activated veteran running back Adrian Peterson off the practice squad for Sunday's clash with the San Francisco 49ers.

    Struggling Seattle had signed future NFL Hall of Famer Peterson earlier this week but elevated the 36-year-old on Saturday, despite only two days of practice.

    The Seahawks (3-8) brought in the 2012 MVP and seven-time Pro Bowler – who was waived by the Tennessee Titans – for depth due to a growing injury list.

    "Adrian had a good week," Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said on Friday, with his team amid a three-game losing streak. "It's probably hard for people on the outside to understand the impact a guy with his kind of background can make.

    "At a time where we're battling to try to win a game and get going, he jumped in here and had a remarkable influence on the week. With three guys banged up at the spot, we'll see how it goes on the weekend. He had a really productive week for us, and it was fun having him here.

    "It's a rare opportunity for our guys to see somebody like that, that has that kind of background, but stands for so much more than just the numbers and the stats and all of that.

    "He's been a remarkable competitor forever. It was so obvious. It was really a boost for a bunch of guys, the young guys in particular. He's serious about playing. He's not just here for show. He's here to come here and try to help us win a game."

    The Seahawks have lost eight or more games in a season for the first time since going 7-9 in 2011. The nine straight seasons with seven of fewer losses is the longest streak in team history with the previous record being five straight seasons (2003-2007), according to Stats Perform.

    Russell Wilson led the Seahawks in rushing with 16 yards in their 17-15 loss to the Washington Football Team. It was the lowest number of rushing yards for the team's leading rusher since Week 9 of 2016 when Tyler Lockett led the way with 13 rushing yards against the Bills.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.