Chelsea told to abandon two transfer moves despite Romelu Lukaku exit | Football

Frank Leboeuf has reacted to Romelu Lukaku’s Chelsea exit (Pictures: YouTube/Getty)

Frank Leboeuf has urged Chelsea to abandon two transfer moves despite Romelu Lukaku’s imminent return to Inter Milan.

Much was expected of Lukaku after he completed a £100m move to Stamford Bridge last summer, but the Belgian striker endured a dismal season, scoring just eight Premier League goals.

Lukaku made no secret of his desire to return to Serie A side Inter and Chelsea agreed a loan deal for the 29-year-old yesterday.

He will join Inter Milan on a season-long loan which has cost the Italian club 8m euros (£6.9m).

Since it became apparent that Lukaku could leave Chelsea, the Premier League giants have been linked with moves for Robert Lewandoswki and Raheem Sterling.

However, former Blues defender Leboeuf believes Thomas Tuchel should prioritise other signings and says Manchester City forward Sterling would not solve Chelsea’s problems.

Chelsea have largely impressed since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard in the Stamford Bridge hot-seat – winning the Champions League last year – but the Blues failed to keep pace with domestic rivals Man City and Liverpool last season.

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel will want to replace Lukaku (Picture: Getty)

Asked who Chelsea should sign to replace Lukaku, Leboeuf told EPSN: ‘No one. I think that’s not the priority for Chelsea.

‘If you only care about the headlines you talk about Lewandowski or Sterling and some other class-A players. But you have to look elsewhere in the team.

‘You need central defenders. I want to talk about [Jules] Kounde, about right-backs and a new midfielder. This is where they need to look.

‘They’ve been looking for a top-scorer for two years, it hasn’t worked. They have talented players that have to settle in and get confidence.

‘But finding a striker is not a priority. I want to see Chelsea make clever signings rather than try to make headlines with a striker because that’s not a priority.’

Leboeuf has questioned Chelsea’s move for Raheem Sterling (Picture: Getty)

Asked specifically about Sterling, who is being linked with a £50m move to west London, Leboeuf added: ‘If you have Sterling at his best, no doubt that it’s a plus. But what kind of player Chelsea would get I don’t know.

‘Definitely he’s a fantastic player and can bring something special. But that’s not going to solve the problems Chelsea have, I think in terms of scoring goals and bringing the confidence back to all the players.

‘What it’s not going to resolve as well is the crosses from the two wings, by Reece James and [Ben Chilwell].

‘It’s going to be tricky if they don’t find somebody who can head the ball because neither Sterling nor Werner, Pulisic or even Mount are capable of giving something special from crosses. Maybe Havertz can but it’s not enough in the squad.

‘The pace of Chelsea’s game could improve – Sterling can improve that. But the cleverness in front of goal won’t change and he can also miss easy chances. I’m not sure about it, I think it’s a risk.’

Leboeuf also discussed Lukaku’s imminent move to Inter Milan, insisting he is ‘sad’ that the Belgian failed to make a success of his Chelsea return.

‘Tuchel is responsible for signing him but Lukaku also needs to take responsibility. Everyone is a bit guilty here,’ the Frenchman said.

‘He didn’t perform the way people expected him to do. I’m sad for him because I think he’s a great guy and a great player, but it was not a good season, it was a disaster.

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