Thomas Tuchel backs returning Romelu Lukaku to have big impact at Chelsea

Chelsea’s new striker Romelu Lukaku has all the attributes to greatly improve the London club’s attack and bridge the gap to its fellow Premier League title contenders, manager Thomas Tuchel said on Friday.

The lethal Belgian completed a 97.5 million pounds ($134.6 million) return to Chelsea on Thursday after two years at Inter Milan where he helped the Italian club to its first Serie A title in 11 years last season.

“We’re very happy to have Romelu back. In terms of personality, speed, power, he can hopefully be an excellent addition,” Tuchel told reporters ahead of Saturday’s opener against Crystal Palace.

“He has the power, the physique to help us. He has the experience and personality to have a huge impact. At the same time he’s a humble guy and a true team player. He cares about Chelsea… we’re happy that he’s our player now. … We think Romelu’s strengths are a big variety. He’ll give us new power when we cross from the side. I don’t think we have to change our style to make him shine,” Tuchel added.

Chelsea has been a club transformed since Tuchel took over midway through last season as it won the Champions League.

It added the Super Cup to its trophy collection on Wednesday but the German manager said improving its league position was a priority.

“Last season, we came fourth… so there are some bridges to be built to close the gaps. We had a strong half a season with the group with a fantastic ending… now a very exciting start with a trophy at the beginning,” Tuchel said.

Tuchel said Morocco international Hakim Ziyech was out of the clash at Stamford Bridge after injuring his arm in their 6-5 shootout victory over Villarreal on Wednesday but he would not need surgery, while France midfielder N’Golo Kante is a doubt.

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