Thomas Tuchel has revealed that Romelu Lukaku will be ready to play in Chelsea’s second Premier League game of the season against Arsenal.
Chelsea’s club-record £98 million ($136m) signing from Inter remains in quarantine and he will miss the club’s opening Premier League match of the season on Saturday against Crystal Palace.
Lukaku will begin training with the Blues on Monday in preparation for next Sunday’s match against Mikel Arteta’s side, when he is set to begin his second spell with the Blues.
“Romulu is still in quarantine and following the protocols,” Tuchel told reporters from Cobham Training Centre. “He will be out on Monday doing the whole training with us next week and will play for us against Arsenal. This is the plan.
“We always try to do it as fast as possible and the sooner the better. As I said, if we could have wished for something, he would have been maybe on the pitch and available for even Wednesday.
“But the sooner the better, because every game counts and we are happy.”
Although different in style, Lukaku finds himself often compared to Chelsea’s legendary striker Didier Drogba.
Tuchel thinks that Lukaku is someone, like Drogba, who can embody what it means to be a powerful central striker at Stamford Bridge.
“Before I even entered the club and had the chance to be part of it I thought of personalities up front of a certain category of striker like Didier Drogba, like Diego Costa, that for me embodies Chelsea and what Chelsea stands for,” Tuchel added.
“And Mason [Mount], of course, there are a lot of comparisons with Frank Lampard and his style of play in the way that he grew up and how he interprets his game.
“I hope they click together, we have to see it, from next Monday on we will work on that and hopefully they can be together with our other guys, the guys that our fans really like to see on the pitch and can shape a certain profile of Chelsea Football Club.
“He will take the weight off the shoulders from our younger strikers, from our younger players around him, and I think this is a huge part of the story, that he does not step away and is also happy to make life easier for players around him.
“I think these players like Christian [Pulisic], like Kai [Havertz], like Timo [Werner], they will benefit from him.”