Graeme Souness believes that Romelu Lukaku should apologise to his Chelsea teammates after an interview the Belgian did with Italian media caused a stir in England.
Lukaku, in an interview that was recorded weeks before being published this past week, explained that he would one day like to return to Inter and that he was unhappy with the situation he found himself in at Chelsea, though he didn’t clarify if that was a general problem at Stamford Bridge or one more to do with his own form.
But Souness was fuming about the No.9’s words, which he deemed unnecessary.
“You’re trying to understand how a player has got to a stage where he’s come out with such a ridiculous and damaging statement,” said Souness, speaking on Sky Sports’ coverage of Chelsea’s draw with Liverpool, a game that Thomas Tuchel left Lukaku out of the matchday squad for.
“We’ve all played with players who need to be training every day and playing every week to get the best out of them. Lukaku is a powerful man, and he’s been used sparingly by the manager.
“He’s physically big and strong and has to be playing games all the time to be scoring goals. Wayne Rooney, I imagine, had to be like that to get the very best out of him. [Lukaku] was frustrated at not coming back and going straight into the team and has come up with the nonsense he’s said.
“It was totally disrespectful. He’s 29 years old not 19 and he should know better. This damages the football club enormously. It’s like walking into a dressing room and telling the other guys, ‘I don’t want to be with you anymore’.
“It damages the manager, and he should say, ‘If you don’t fancy it here, there’s the door. On you go’. The first thing I’d do if I was Thomas Tuchel is I’d tell Lukaku that he needs to apologise. He needs to stand in front of everyone in the dressing room and apologise unreservedly.
“If he’s not prepared to come to me as the manager, I’d come to him and have an honest conversation over whether he really meant it or whether it was a mistake. If he’s not apologised, then he’s done the right thing [in leaving him out].
“Tuchel has put a marker down and Lukaku has more than crossed the line. He has to apologise to his team-mates. It was so offside, it beggars belief.”