Romelu Lukaku can still be a Premier League success, according to Tottenham manager Antonio Conte, who has suggested his old player needs more love at Chelsea.
Conte takes his Spurs side to Stamford Bridge on Sunday but there will be no head-to-head battle between two of the world’s best forwards.
Harry Kane will lead the line for the visitors, but Thomas Tuchel could play another wrong nine for the hosts, who have been dogged by problems in front of goal for some time.
Lukaku’s £97million signing last summer should solve Chelsea’s problems in attack but the Belgian has struggled and is back on loan at Inter Milan.
It was at the San Siro under Conte’s management where the former Manchester United striker proved himself to be one of the best at his position on his way to winning the Serie A title in 2021, and his old boss believes the 29th place in the squad -Year-old this still can thrive in England.
He said: “I think Romelu lived in Milan for two years and he was the king. The fans showed him a lot of passion and I think he’s a guy who needs that.
“For that reason I think he wanted to return to Milan, but the signing was a good signing for Chelsea for sure. Then you know perfectly well that there are players who need more time to make a difference.
“We’re talking about a player who has returned to Chelsea and is now on loan at Inter for the season, but he has the potential to play in the Premier League.
“I remember very well when he started playing last season, he played really well and you in the media said Lukaku was really strong.
“A lot can happen and you lose confidence. I know for sure he’s a bit disappointed with his impact because he wanted to make another impact in England.
“But he has time. Now it’s right for him to play for an important club in Italy to try and regain confidence, but we’re talking about a really important and really good striker.”
While Spurs have seen Harry Kane and now even Son Heung-min regularly hit the 20-goal mark in the Premier League, Diego Costa was the last Chelsea player to do so five years ago.
It came in Conte’s first campaign in England, where he led the Blues to the title.
An FA Cup was to follow in his second and final season at Stamford Bridge before departing in acrimonious circumstances, but the 53-year-old has only fond memories of his time under Roman Abramovich.
“I spent two important years at Chelsea, which I really enjoyed,” Conte added.
“We won the Premier League and then the FA Cup. We also lost the FA Cup final. It was my first experience in England and everything was new to me but I’m enjoying this time very much. Yes, I bring a good feeling with me.
“I saw that the Abramovich era is over, but this person made the team one of the best clubs in the world.
“I was delighted to be part of the history of Chelsea and the Abramovich era. And present him with two trophies at the same time.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/romelu-lukaku-antonio-conte-harry-kane-thomas-tuchel-premier-league-b2144294.html Chelsea outsider Romelu Lukaku needs to feel fans’ ‘passion’ – Antonio Conte