Chelsea star Joe Cole has questioned why his former club let Romelu Lukaku to depart on loan this summer, given their own goal-scoring woes.
After taking over as Blues manager at the start of preseason, Mauricio Pochettino has had a disappointing start. Chelsea is now 11th in the Premier League table, and one of the most alarming aspects of their early season has been a serious dearth of goals.
The west Londoners have only scored 13 league goals this season, one fewer than every team above them except Manchester United, who have played one game fewer. Chelsea’s most recent match was at home against Brentford, and following a strong performance the week before in a 2-2 draw with Arsenal, expectations were high.
Despite this, Chelsea struggled for the rest of the game, falling to a 2-0 defeat thanks to goals from Ethan Pinnock and Bryan Mbeumo. Stamford Bridge was virtually half-empty by the time the Bees scored their second goal, which came from Blues ‘keeper Robert Sanchez stepping up for an offensive corner.
Pochettino’s side struggled to convert their possession into clear-cut chances. It’s not as if Chelsea don’t have options; the club spent big to sign attacker Nicolas Jackson from Villarreal, and Armando Broja is another option for the Blues manager to consider. Cole, on the other hand, believes they had a good substitute on their books and willingly opted to dump him.
Lukaku’s £97 million move to Inter Milan in 2021 has not gone as planned, as the Belgian made clear in an explosive interview only months into his second tenure at Chelsea, but he understands where the aim is. Unfortunately, he was loaned out to Roma for the duration of the season.
The former Manchester United and Inter striker has scored eight goals in ten appearances under Jose Mourinho, and Cole plainly believes he could have done better for Chelsea. “You here all the buzzwords around the club but at the end of the day, we can’t score goals,” according to him.
“Despite his flaws, Romelu Lukaku was in the door.” He was a success at Inter Milan, he scored goals for Everton and West Brom in the United Kingdom; why couldn’t he score goals for Chelsea? What was the matter with him?
“He’s now scoring goals for Roma.” So we must examine inward to see what is wrong with this club right now. The squad is uneven, but there is something fundamentally wrong with the club right now.”
Chelsea have been linked with moves for Ivan Toney and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen ahead of the January transfer season, according to the rumour mill. Pochettino’s desire to invest even more money on another offensive option remains to be seen.