‘Lukaku will be pleased’ — Paul Merson slams Tuchel for dropping Lukaku

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It was a huge call for the manager to make against Liverpool, as Blues boss Thomas Tuchel dropped Romelu Lukaku for the Premier League clash against Liverpool, following his controversial interview with Sky Italia.

Arsenal legend Paul Merson believes Tuchel took the simple decision and claimed that the German needed Lukaku against Liverpool.

According to Merson, the Belgian would get back into the team afterwards and everything will be normal again, so there was no point benching him in the first place.

Asked if the handling of the Lukaku situation was a victory for Tuchel, the former Arsenal and England star told Sky Sports: “No, not really. Why would it be a victory?

“Chelsea had to beat Liverpool to have any chance of winning the Premier League. They had to beat Liverpool and then Manchester City in their next game to have any chance, but for me, he’s chopped his nose off to spite his face.

“Lukaku is going to play for Chelsea again so why not play him against Liverpool? It’s not like he’s never going to play for Chelsea again.

“If that was the case and he’s not going to play for Chelsea again, then I could understand it, but if not, why do it?

“You are better off throwing him to the wolves and playing him, in my opinion. If he then doesn’t play well, the Chelsea fans will soon let him know. I’d have gone that way, personally.

“It’s been far too easy for Lukaku. He’s said what he wanted to say, he’s been dropped, will come back for a lesser game than Liverpool and everything will be alright.

“Tuchel should have played him against Liverpool. It was the biggest game of the season for Chelsea.

“They just bought Lukaku for £90m. He is the marquee signing. They bought him for these kinds of games, the big games. They bought him to face Liverpool, not Brighton at home.

“It was the easy option to leave him out and I bet Lukaku couldn’t believe his luck. He needed a trial by the fans.”

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Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.