How Chelsea will line up with €115m Lukaku

Robin Bairner
Inter striker Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku has finally completed his return to Chelsea, after the London club confirmed the re-signing of the Belgium international on a five-year deal on Thursday evening.

The Champions League winners have seen Olivier Giroud depart this summer to Milan, and with manager Thomas Tuchel unwilling to put his faith in Tammy Abraham, they are on the hunt for a new No.9.

Erling Haaland appears out of reach this summer, with Borussia Dortmund’s asking price too high, but they have been able to attract Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge, seven years after he left for Everton in 2014, having been peripheral to their plans at that time.

Lukaku, though, has become one of the game’s premier No.9s since a move from Manchester United to Inter, where he fired the San Siro club to Serie A glory.

Negotiations between Chelsea and Inter have intensified over the last seven days, and after the Blues saw a bid of £85 million plus Marcos Alonso rejected by the Italian giants, they have since returned with an improved offer.

Lukaku will return to Stamford Bridge this week in a deal reportedly worth £97.5m.

What will their team look like with the big Belgian back?

Chelsea XI with Lukaku

Chelsea - Football tactics and formations

Edouard Mendy was signed to provide competition to the underperforming Kepa Arrizabalaga last summer and has taken the Spaniard’s place.

The 29-year-old has arguably exceeded expectations since his summer move from Rennes a year ago.

Cesar Azpiliceta, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger are presently the men in command of the central defensive slots, although Jules Kounde may arrive from Sevilla to displace the Spaniard.

With Achraf Hakimi joining PSG instead of Chelsea, Reece James will likely be the first choice at right wing-back.

Ben Chilwell will likely be the preferred option ahead of Marcos Alonso on the opposite side.

In the middle, Jorginho will partner N'Golo Kante, with Mateo Kovacic available in reserve.

It is in the final third where Chelsea are blessed with numerous options, which would only improve with the acquisition of Lukaku.

Should he be signed, there would be a plethora of players vying for the two spots behind the striker.

Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Timo Werner will all need to fight it out.