Chelsea fear Abraham transfer will hurt them after Lukaku and Werner blow

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Chelsea were dealt with a double injury blow during their Champions League tie against Malmo on Wednesday after losing Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner to injury.

Lukaku had been a constant menace in the early stages of the game and won a penalty after a superb solo run into the box before being brought down from behind.

The referee pointed to spot and only showed a yellow card for the challenge, which may have been viewed as a clear goalscoring opportunity.

And it came at a heavy price for Lukaku, who saw his trailing left leg get caught underneath the Malmo defender.

The 28-year-old stayed down for several minutes as the team physio ran onto the pitch to give him treatment on what appeared to be a twisted ankle.

But it quickly became clear that Lukaku would not be able to continue and Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel was forced into a change.

The German sent on Kai Havertz to replace Lukaku after just 23 minutes, although at this point his side were already 1-0 up thanks to Andreas Christensen’s goal.

Blues fans rushed onto social media to make their concerns known, with Lukaku’s injury leaving the west London outfit short of options up front.

Neither Havertz nor Werner are regarded as out-and-out central strikers in Tuchel’s 3-4-3 setup, with the pair predominantly deployed as ‘inside No.10s’.

Were Chelsea wrong to sell Tammy Abraham over the summer? Comment below.

The club did have Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham to rely upon last season as they won the Champions League.

But both strikers decided to head for the exit over the summer, with Giroud joining AC Milan and Abraham sold to AS Roma for £34m.

With no obvious replacement available to come in for Lukaku, Chelsea fans questioned why Abraham was allowed to leave.

One user wrote: “This is why I didn't want Abraham to leave the team, if Lukaku gets injured there's no number 9.”

Another wrote: “Tammy Abraham would have been a better sub for Lukaku.”

Chelsea could have been forgiven for thinking their striker woes were over after breaking their club transfer record to bring in Lukaku from Inter Milan.

But the Belgian has scored only four goals in all competitions and has not found the net since the 1-0 win over Zenit St Petersburg on September 14.

Their decision to sell Abraham to the Italian outfit has only been exacerbated by the fact the 24-year-old has enjoyed an electric start at the Stadio Olimpico, notching four goals and two assists in 10 games for the Giallorossi.

Meanwhile, struggling Havertz has only struck one goal this season — in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool in August — although he did net the third as Chelsea cruised to victory over Malmo.

Werner has scored just three Premier League goals in his last 33 outings and the German also provided Tuchel with a selection headache ahead of their next match against Norwich.

The 25-year-old hobbled off with a hamstring injury towards the end of the first half, leaving Havertz as the only recognised forward available for Saturday's game at Stamford Bridge.

Some will perhaps question why Tuchel chose to field such a strong lineup against Group H whipping boys Malmo, given how the Swedes had fared in their opening two matches.

Now Chelsea could be left without Lukaku and Werner for their upcoming fixtures, giving Tuchel a tinge of regret over his decision to allow Abraham to leave.

  • Champions League
  • Premier League
  • Chelsea FC
  • Romelu Lukaku
  • Timo Werner

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