Former Chelsea midfielder Gus Poyet believes Romelu Lukaku’s departure from Stamford Bridge is “100% the right decision for everyone involved” – but concedes that the Blues are weaker in his absence.
Lukaku re-joined Chelsea from Inter last summer for a record-breaking £97.5million fee, as Thomas Tuchel looked to turn his Champions League-winning side into title contenders.
But the striker’s return to London did not go as planned.
The Belgian netted just eight Premier League goals and expressed his discontent with life in the capital, in an interview that created a great deal of friction between player and club.
He has now returned to Italy on a season-long loan with the Nerazzurri, and – while Poyet agrees with the decision to move him on – the Uruguayan feels Chelsea need a replacement, with Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski a potential candidate.
Lukaku Departure Best For Chelsea
Speaking exclusively to Lord Ping, he said: “Chelsea need to learn from what has happened with Romelu Lukaku.
“When he first arrived he was outstanding. He came with confidence and really led the attack.
“Then he had a spell where he was injured and then the famous interview. After that, what is done, is done.
“It's difficult to understand from the outside. You need to be in to understand what was going on with everything.
“Lukaku leaving the club is 100% the right decision for everyone involved. Chelsea now need to learn from this situation.
“Chelsea will be weaker now as they've lost a £90million+ player.
“It's going to be interesting because it's a problem that they need to sort out and no one knows what Robert Lewandowski is going to do with his future.”
Chelsea Not Title Contenders
Without top acquisitions, Poyet does not believe it is possible for Chelsea to challenge Liverpool and Manchester City at the Premier League’s summit – having finished 19 points off the pace last term.
“If Chelsea bring the right players in then [winning the Premier League] can be the aim, but with the current squad, no,” he concluded.
“People need to listen to me and use common sense – if you sign a £100million striker, you have to aim to win the Premier League. If you don't believe that then you know nothing about football.
“Right now, there's still a big gap between Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City.”
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