News Matches

Chelsea boss Potter claims failed Lukaku transfer should serve as warning for club business

22:34 GMT 04/02/2023
Graham Potter training Chelsea 2022-23
Graham Potter has pointed to Romelu Lukaku’s failed £97.5 million transfer to Chelsea amid questions over the club’s lack of a proven goalscorer.
  • Chelsea spent £320m in January
  • £600m outlay over last two windows
  • But couldn't score vs Fulham on Friday

WHAT HAPPENED? Chelsea spent a massive sum of money across the January and summer transfer windows on up-and-coming players such as Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk, but they have so far failed to remedy their goalscoring problems despite their £600m outlay. Their lack of an out-and-out No.9 was highlighted once again following the goalless draw with Fulham on Friday night - a game in which Kai Havertz was profligate, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was left out altogether.

However, Potter argues that Lukaku’s mightily underwhelming performances after returning from Inter in 2021 should serve as a warning that splurging on a striker wouldn’t necessarily guarantee an improvement in attack.

WHAT THEY SAID: “I think we need to improve as a team. If you look back 18 months, from the outside Chelsea wasn’t scoring and they thought they’d spend close to £100 million on a centre-forward [Lukaku] and that would fix all their problems, and it didn’t," he said. “You have to attack better as a team and that’s our challenge - that’s what we need to do.”

Asked how long he thought it might take for his raft of new arrivals to gel, Potter added: “I’d be lying if I could say I could give you a timescale on it. Put it this way, if I could get a month for every time I’ve been asked that question, I’d be here for five years [laughs].”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: After a good start upon his return to Stamford Bridge in 2021-22, the goals eventually ran dry for Lukaku before he shot himself in the foot with a now-infamous interview with Italian media in which he questioned then-manager Thomas Tuchel’s tactics - a faux pas he never really recovered from when combined with his poor form in front of goal.


WHAT NEXT FOR CHELSEA? The Blues now have another week off before another London derby, this time away to West Ham on February 11.