Has Romelu Lukaku turned a corner?
Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

As Romelu Lukaku raced away from Liverpool’s last line of defence then, turn away from Ibrahima Konate and snap his shot under Caoimhín Kelleher, it looked as if his big Chelsea moment had finally arrived only for VAR to controversially cancel the party.

The evening got worse for Lukaku and co, as they watched Liverpool lift the Carabao Cup after an 11-10 penalty shootout loss, but it seems his 46-minute cameo at Wembley, this Sunday could be a pivotal point in his Chelsea career.

What has happened to Lukaku?

It has been a chaotic and rough couple of months for Lukaku, who arrived at Stamford Bridge with huge expectations to take Thomas Tuchel’s side to the next level and was seen as the last piece of their Premier League winning puzzle, but things became sour between him and the Club.

Just as people started to celebrate New Year’s Eve, Chelsea were working behind the scene to try and cover for Lukaku’s explosive interview with Sky Italia. The Belgian’s intentions were, of course, not to tarnish the newly formed relationship with him and the Blues, but the interview caused an uproar.

Chelsea’s record signing went on to reveal his Chelsea frustrations with the tactical system being played, whilst also flirting with the idea of a move back to Inter Milan, the club he joined Chelsea from just under six months prior to the interview.

Upon the release of the interview, Chelsea were playing good football and Lukaku himself had just scored two goals against Brighton and Hove Albion and Aston Villa, after coming back from injury but the aftermath caused by the interview, which was conducted three months before being released, seemed to derail Lukaku’s season.

He was dropped out of the squad to face Liverpool but returned to face Tottenham in the next game in the Carabao Cup semi-final, but since his return, he has failed to score in the Premier League.

When he entered the Wembley turf he came with a point to prove and delivered. He looked to have the advantage over the tired legs of Virgil Van Dijk and Konate when he came on and had thought he had won it for Chelsea in the 98th minute but was thwarted by VAR. Despite the ruled-out goal the signs were positive for Lukaku and with Reece James also returning, the Belgian could start to find his early-season form.

His start to life in London proves that he can work out at Chelsea, and he announced himself to the Blues fan in the best possible way. He barged his way past the Arsenal defence to convert James’ cross and as he peeled away in celebration, shushing The Emirates crowd,  the Chelsea fans were excited about the future with their new man up top.

If the £97 million signing manages to restore the damage done by the interview, he will be vital in the closing stages of the season to help Chelsea bounce back from Sunday’s cup heartbreak.

What is next for Lukaku?

His substitute appearance against Liverpool doesn’t mean he is guaranteed to come back into the starting line-up, though, with Kai Havertz, once again, performing in the big moments for Chelsea but if he does return to Tuchel’s line-up, he adds something different to Chelsea’s attack.

When the German leads the line, it seems that the attack has more fluidity and when Lukaku is out of the team, Chelsea’s attacking performances have been dangerous, but when Lukaku is on form his quality is clear to see.

His first game against Liverpool, in August, saw him cause all sorts of problems for the Reds’ defence, with his most recent game against the same opposition, giving everyone a quick reminder to everyone how big of an asset he is for Thomas Tuchel.

VAVEL Logo