Chelsea impressed in win and now it's time to unleash Romelu Lukaku!
Chelsea impressed in their victory against Crystal Palace and now it’s time to unleash £97.5m striker Romelu Lukaku…rivals of the ruthless Blues should be AFRAID as they look to mount serious Premier League title challenge
- Chelsea started their season with an impressive victory against Crystal Palace
- The Blues will now be ready to release Romelu Lukaku on the Premier League
- Patrick Vieira expects Chelsea to contend for the title after his side’s defeat
- Lukaku’s isolation ends on Monday as he gets ready to join up with the squad
As if Chelsea’s opening day dismantling of Crystal Palace wasn’t impressive enough, Thomas Tuchel will unleash record signing Romelu Lukaku this week.
That’s bad news for Arsenal, who welcome the European champions to the Emirates on Sunday. In truth, it’s bad news for the entire Premier League judging by Chelsea’s ruthless display on Saturday.
Chelsea looked primed and ready to mount a title assault. Pre-season assertions that the Blues will be Manchester City’s closest challengers look well placed.
Chelsea dismantled Crystal Palace in their opening game and look ready to launch a title bid
Chelsea will now be ready to unleash new signing Romelu Lukaku on the Premier League
Patrick Vieira, who knows a thing or two about winning championships, said as much after watching his team be swept aside with minimal fuss in his first game in charge as Palace boss.
‘Chelsea with the money they have spent, the quality they have — they will be there fighting for the titles. I think Chelsea will be in the top three teams who can win the Premier League,’ said Vieira, who won six league titles during his playing spells with Arsenal and Juventus.
Vieira has his own problems, of course. The prospect of trying to oversee a period of transition while picking up enough points to stay in the top flight can be a dangerous combination.
On the evidence of this game, Vieira has his work cut out. But they won’t face sides as good as Chelsea every weekend.
Christian Pulisic, Marcos Alonso and Trevor Chalobah grabbed the goals against Palace
And the wounds inflicted by this loss at Stamford Bridge may have been far more severe had Lukaku been available.
The £97.5million man was forced to miss Chelsea’s victory because he was quarantining following his arrival in London from Italy to complete his return to Chelsea.
But the Belgium striker’s period of isolation is due to end on Monday with the 28-year-old expected to join full team training at Chelsea’s Cobham HQ tomorrow. All being well, Lukaku will make his second Chelsea debut against London rivals Arsenal.
‘On Tuesday he can train so we will prepare him to be ready for Arsenal,’ said Tuchel. ‘With the addition of Romelu we have the No 1 striker in and we want to have him on the pitch, that is very clear when you do this kind of transfer.
Patrick Vieira expects Chelsea to mount a title challenge after seeing his side lose to to them
‘Romelu is the kind of person who will link with continuity and he will lift the pressure off the younger guys’ shoulders.
‘I think with Romelu we have the opportunity to play with two strikers like he did with Inter or we can continue with three strikers.’
Christian Pulisic, who scored Chelsea’s second on Saturday, added: ‘I think he is a really good striker that plays with his back to goal. He’s a great goalscorer. He is able to link play well. He brings other people into the game. He does a lot of things well and a player like that is great for guys like me and creative players in the team.
‘I think a lot of the players are going to benefit from him signing for the club.’
However Tuchel decides to incorporate Lukaku into his team, the prospect of the striker’s inclusion is the last thing Mikel Arteta will need following Arsenal’s hugely disappointing start to the season at newly promoted Brentford on Friday night.
The former Inter Milan star’s period of isolation ends on Monday so should be ready for Chelsea’s next game
And as if the prospect of taming Lukaku isn’t enough to keep Arteta occupied, the potential return of key midfielder N’Golo Kante for the clash will be a further disappointment to the Spaniard.
Kante missed the win over Palace with an ankle complaint but Tuchel said: ‘I think N’Golo will be back in the middle of the week to be ready for Arsenal. He felt discomfort in his ankle on Friday and he felt it in the warm-up in the Super Cup against Villarreal.’
Marcos Alonso set the balling rolling for Chelsea with a brilliant free-kick but the highlight came when academy product Trevoh Chalobah sank to his knees after smashing home their third from 25 yards on his Premier League debut.
But it will be the second coming of Lukaku that will be the talk of Chelsea supporters this week.
EUROPEAN KINGS KICK OFF IN FINE FASHION
- Chelsea have won 17 of their last 21 meetings with Crystal Palace in the Premier League. The victory means that no Champions League winners have lost their opening league match of the next season for 20 years, since Bayern Munich began with a loss in 2001-02.
- The last time Chelsea entered a season as European champions, in 2012-13, they began with seven wins from their opening eight games.
- At 22 years and 40 days, Trevoh Chalobah is the second youngest player to score on his Premier League debut for Chelsea, after Paul Hughes in 1997 (20y & 274d). The youngster had a 93 per cent pass accuracy, won four duels, made three clearances and scored.
- Marcos Alonso’s strike was Chelsea’s 50th direct free-kick goal in Premier League history. Only Manchester United (64) have scored more.
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