Romelu Lukaku was surprised to be left on the bench for the entirety of Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Lille in the Champions League, and considered himself fit and ready to play despite Thomas Tuchel claiming otherwise.
The Blues started with a front three of Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech, with the German and the American scoring the goals in the win over the French champions at Stamford Bridge.
Even though Pulisic and Morocco international Ziyech were taken off in the second half, Lukaku remained on the bench, watching on.
Chelsea boss Tuchel had claimed Lukaku was ‘a bit tired and exhausted’ after his ghostly performance against Crystal Palace at the weekend which saw him touch the ball just seven times.
The Telegraph report that the Belgian did not see it this way, though, and felt ready to play against Lille, disappointed to miss out.
Chelsea play Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday at Wembley and the 28-year-old is very keen to be involved in that, although now his place is in serious doubt.
Havertz and Pulisic will hope to retain their places after netting on Tuesday night, while Mason Mount returned to the bench against Lille after injury and is pushing for the starting XI this weekend.
There may be spaces in the team opening up, though, with Ziyech and Mateo Kovacic both going off injured in the second half at Stamford Bridge.
Lukaku has had an underwhelming time since his return to Chelsea from Inter Milan in the summer, scoring five Premier League goals in 17 appearances as he struggles to fit into Tuchel’s style of play.
He failed to, not only score at Palace on Saturday but make any impact at all as he set a new Premier League record for fewest touches made by a player who played a full 90 minutes – since the stats have been recorded in 2003-04.