Thomas Tuchel on Romelu Lukaku's troubled Chelsea return: He needs peace on the pitch

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said he believes the club are doing everything to help struggling striker Romelu Lukaku and urged the Belgium international to find "peace on the pitch" to rediscover his scoring touch.

The 28-year-old was expected to spearhead a title challenge after rejoining his former club from Inter Milan in a €115 million deal last summer but has instead scored just five goals in 13 Premier League appearances.

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Lukaku has had to battle injury and overcome COVID-19 but the situation was complicated further by an unsanctioned interview last month in which he told Sky Italia he was unhappy and one day wanted to return to Inter.

He was largely anonymous on Saturday as Chelsea were beaten 1-0 at Manchester City to fall 13 points behind Pep Guardiola's side and when asked at a news conference on Monday whether his side had to change their tactical approach to get the best out of Lukaku, Tuchel replied: "We do everything to help him. I think this is absolutely the wrong question because it is focusing on one player.

"He is a key player and we want him to be a key player. But for me, this is the wrong approach. This is what we do by the way anyway constantly for any player. This is a team sport. It is not about 10 players serving one player. This is not Chelsea and this is not football. Every player serving the team is the highest principle and this will not change.

"We expect more from our whole offensive performance in the last match. I think we had enough offensive actions, transitions to hurt Man City more than we did.

"He is included in our offensive performance, he is a key player so there will always be pressure. There will not be more pressure than he puts on himself and we need to find a mix between all the expectations, all the pressure and still to be relaxed enough to play your best game.

"It is not only about pushing, squeezing, not only about demands, it is also about feeling peace and relaxed on the pitch. Things will fall in their place when we keep on working hard."

Tuchel also took aim at the Premier League over their decision to reschedule their away game at Brighton & Hove Albion for Tuesday, originally postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Brighton squad.

Technical and performance adviser Petr Cech said he was "extremely concerned about the welfare of our players in all of this" and "puzzled why Wednesday Jan. 19 was not considered as an alternative date" given both clubs do not play again until Sunday.

"It is very hard to understand," Tuchel said. "Petr Cech gave our opinion on that and I strongly agree with Petr on that. It has nothing to do with City -- there are three away games in a row -- but both Brighton and we have our next game on Sunday so there was no need to put it on a Tuesday.

"Brighton played on Friday so it makes a huge difference for them also. We have the schedule we have, we play in some competitions and some competitions will hopefully stay with us. There are some to come, some extra games.

"We have this Brighton game now because we are in Abu Dhabi playing the [Club] World Cup in February, it is squeezed in this week.

"Petr said it perfectly and I cannot agree more. If you look at it isolated, you can play on Saturday and Tuesday. We have done that before but if you widen the focus a little bit, we could have done better in scheduling this match for sure."

Chelsea were originally due to play Arsenal before that match was rearranged due to the latter's revised Carabao Cup semifinal, second leg against Liverpool. Sources have told ESPN that Amazon Prime had the option to select the day of the Brighton vs. Chelsea match given they have the UK television rights for this particular midweek.