Chelsea may recall Romelu Lukaku in January

Chelsea may recall Romelu Lukaku in January

The inability to return Romelu Lukaku from his loan at Inter in January threatens to leave the Blues light up front for the remainder of the season, barring the acquisition of a replacement.

In addition to allowing Romelu Lukaku to rejoin Inter, Chelsea also traded Timo Werner and Michy Batshuayi during the summer, bringing in just Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to replace them.

Armando Broja, the team’s backup striker, has sustained an ACL injury and won’t be able to play again until the following season. This is the latest blow for the Stamford Bridge club.

In the summer of 2021, Chelsea paid Inter a club-record £97.5 million to acquire Romelu Lukaku, marking his return to west London following mixed stints with Everton and Manchester United.

After failing to make the expected impact when he first joined Chelsea as a teenager in 2011, the Belgian dynamo felt he had unfinished business at Inter, where he scored 64 goals in 95 appearances across all competitions. He felt he still had unfinished business at Chelsea, where he failed to make the expected impact when he first joined the club as a teenager.

Nevertheless, things did not go as planned with the Blues. Following a six-game injury layoff, Lukaku’s play deteriorated after an initially promising start. Later, in an explosive interview in Italy, he revealed his dissatisfaction with Chelsea and his wish to return to Inter. He regretted the remarks, but the harm had already been done, and his performance never recovered.

Inter agreed in June to pay an initial €8 million to bring Lukaku back to San Siro for the remainder of the 2022/23 season, increasing to €10 million if specific add-ons were activated. Due to injury, he has scarcely played for the Nerazzurri and has scored just once in Serie A.

Behind Aubameyang, Chelsea’s most potent alternatives up front are Kai Havertz, who has played as a ‘nine’ in the past but has been mainly used as a ‘ten’ this season, and Raheem Sterling, who has been known to be a ‘false nine’.

Christopher Nkunku is anticipated to join Chelsea from RB Leipzig, although he missed the World Cup due to injury and is not scheduled to arrive until the summer.

90min understands Chelsea had already planned to acquire a forward in January before Broja’s injury. The Blues have high aspirations for Rafael Leao, who AC Milan will not let leave in the middle of the season, and Joao Felix. Co-owner Todd Boehly has not ruled out signing free agent Cristiano Ronaldo, but he will defer to coach Graham Potter, who is less enthusiastic.