Former Premier League footballers Trevor Sinclair and Darren Bent have told “disrespectful” Romelu Lukaku to apologise to Chelsea fans after his comments about Inter Milan.
Lukaku became the seventh-most expensive player in Chelsea’s history when rejoining the club in a £97.5million deal from Inter Milan in August.
The Belgium striker has scored seven times in a season hampered by injury and Covid-19, claiming three goals in his last four appearances.
But Chelsea boss Tuchel has frequently left Lukaku out of the starting XI even when he has been fit.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Lukaku said: “Physically I’m fine, even better than before.
“After two years in Italy, in which I worked a lot at Inter with trainers and nutritionists, I am physically fine.
“But I’m not happy with the situation, this is normal. I think the coach has chosen to play with another system, I just have to not give up and continue to work and be a professional.
“I am not happy with the situation, but I am a worker and I must not give up.”
Despite his comments, it has been reported that the interview was conducted several weeks ago and Lukaku has since talked through his differences with the manager.
Lukaku was a sensation in his two seasons at Inter after leaving Manchester United in August 2019.
The 28-year-old scored 64 goals in 95 appearances and last season helped Inter to a first Serie A title since 2010.
Lukaku said: “How I left Inter, how I communicated with the fans, this bothers me because it is not the right time now, but even when I left it was not the right time.
“Now I think it is right to speak because I have always said that I have Inter in my heart, I will return to play there, I really hope so.
“I am in love with Italy, this is rightly the time to talk and let people know what really happened without talking badly about people because I am not like that.
“I want to say a big apology to the Inter fans because I think the way I left should have been different.
“I really hope in the depths of my heart to return to Inter, not at the end of my career, but at a still good level to hopefully win more.”
“Every time I’ve seen a #CFC game, they’re always singing his name. He’s loved by the fans but he’s not playing regularly.”
“If he’s left out again after scoring against Brighton, there must be a problem!”
Ray Parlour reacts to Romelu Lukaku’s latest comments on Chelsea. pic.twitter.com/GEtAUc7NIU
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) December 31, 2021
Former England international Sinclair was surprised by the comments and has urged Lukaku to apologise to the Chelsea supporters.
Sinclair told talkSPORT: “I’m in absolute shock. I was at Chelsea’s win against Villa and I watched him in the warm up.
“I was intrigued because he was out for a while and wondered what his mood was going to be like – he was smiling, laughing, he looked like he was loving being back in the Chelsea squad.
“The second-half performance cemented what I was thinking. He looked happy, he played happy, got a goal, an elite striker’s goal and then the third goal where he won the penalty I thought was one of the best runs to earn a penalty from him I’ve seen in a long time.
“For him to come out with those comments, I think he should be apologising to the Chelsea fans. That’s so disrespectful to the Chelsea fans.
“I think that’s so disrespectful to the Chelsea manager. I’d be astounded if he hadn’t had a conversation with Thomas Tuchel about this.
“He might not have got the answer he wanted but you don’t come out in public and say this. I think it’s disrespectful to his teammates and I think it’s disrespectful to the owner.
“He’s 28 years old. A lot of Chelsea’s front line will look up to Lukaku, I think he’s let them all down.”
Fellow talkSPORT pundit Bent added: “Some of the quotes are just crazy.
“One of the quotes where he says he hopes to return to Inter Milan and not at the end of his career, while he’s at his peak still. That could be soon! He’s not getting any younger.
“It is a bombshell. I can understand his frustrations at not playing because there have been times where he’s been available and Thomas Tuchel has opted to go for Christian Pulisic as a false nine or Kai Havertz.
“But to be so public about it, that’s a hammer blow for Chelsea Football Club.”
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