Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku is in extremely poor form right now and it showed on Saturday in a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, with the Belgian frontman tallying just seven touches in the fixture. That was the lowest number for a Premier League player in a 90-minute span since 2003.

By no surprise, he's been criticized heavily for such a forgetful performance, but Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has fired a stern message at the doubters as Lukaku's struggles continue. Via ESPN:

“It is sometimes like this with strikers if they struggle a bit with self-confidence, if they struggle a little bit to find the space and to get involved against a good defensive side. It can be like this and it is of course not what we want and of course not what Romelu wants. But it is also not the time to laugh about him and make jokes about him. He is in the spotlight of course and we will protect him because he is our player.”

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Lukaku has scored just 10 times in 28 appearances for Chelsea since securing a big-money move from Inter Milan last August. He's missed substantial time though due to COVID-19, injury, and after a bombshell interview with Sky Sports Italy where the 28-year-old said he wants to return to Inter in the future.

The Blues are currently 13 points off league leaders Manchester City but they've had no problem scoring goals, despite the minimal production from Lukaku. However, after all, they paid over $100 million for him to come in and create havoc on a consistent basis. That's simply not happening.