KEY POINTS

  • Romelu Lukaku is yet to regain full fitness after recovering from ankle injury
  • He had sustained the injury in Malma in October
  • Chelsea lost 3-2 to West Ham Saturday

Thomas Tuchel admitted his “fault” involving forward Romelu Lukaku after Chelsea suffered a 3-2 loss at West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday. 

Lukaku, who had been sidelined since the end of October due to an ankle injury he had sustained in Malmo, returned to action last month when the Blues had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Manchester United. 

In the league fixture against West Ham, Tuchel replaced Kai Havertz by Lukaku at half-time, a decision Tuchel believes was not entirely correct. 

Lukaku, who missed as many as six games due to the ankle injury, is still yet to regain full fitness and is not ready to complete long periods in the league. 

"It’s my fault. I don’t think he is ready for 45 minutes physically but still, we decided to bring him on for his height because we lost Kai. Kai had a crucial role in defending set-pieces, which is a huge threat from West Ham, so this is on me. I took the decision so it’s my responsibility," Tuchel was quoted by Chelsea’s official website, as saying in a post-match interview after the Blues’ 2-1 defeat at London Stadium. 

Romelu Lukaku's injury marred Chelsea's win over Malmo Romelu Lukaku's injury marred Chelsea's win over Malmo Photo: AFP / Adrian DENNIS

The loss meant Chelsea were displaced from the top of the table and now are placed third with 33 points, two behind leaders Manchester City and one behind second-placed Liverpool FC

Chelsea next travel to Russia to face off against FC Zenit in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

Tuchel has an injury problem all across the pitch at present with Ben Chilwell (ACL) Mateo Kovacic (hamstring) and N'Golo Kante (knee) currently out. During the latest game against West Ham, Havertz limped off the field and is believed to be out of the trip to Zenit. 

Meanwhile, Jorginho, who played the full 90 minutes at West Ham, could be rested for the upcoming European clash. Tuchel has confirmed that the Euros 2020 winner has been playing through pain and that explains why the Italian player has been seen struggling in recent weeks. "Jorgi is playing with hip pain for many matchdays and you can see it," said Tuchel.