Amid outside talk regarding Romelu Lukaku’s future at Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel remains confident in what the veteran striker can contribute in the side’s attack over the rest of the season.

During a pre-match press conference ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League fixture against Brentford, Tuchel was asked about recent reports noting that Lukaku would be open to a return to Inter Milan. For the moment, Tuchel sees that Lukaku is still a “big part” of the team's plans.

“We don’t reflect on it,” Tuchel said. “The situation at the moment is that we cannot talk to players, cannot sell, and cannot buy. At this moment, we don’t need to think about it.

“These are the players we have and Romelu still plays a big part in our plans. Not the part maybe he wants to play and I totally understand that, but he used his time to disconnect a little bit, had one week of a holiday, and then he was back with us.”

Lukaku has had a roller-coaster campaign in his return to Chelsea. From his notable interview where he touched on being unsatisfied at the club to his up-and-down form, the former Serie A winner has not had it all go his way with the Blues so far this season.

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Even though Lukaku still has not scored a goal in Premier League play so far in 2022, the German manager is not throwing in the towel on him.

“I feel him very motivated, very strong in training, very much involved when we do the games,” Tuchel said. “He is a winner and he will stay a winner and stay important with us. He had a good match against Middlesbrough, which was a huge boost for all of us and for him personally. And at the moment, there is no space for a bad mood and no space for disappointment.

“There are a lot of matches in the decisive weeks of the season. That’s why there is no space now for second thoughts, being distracted or disappointed. We need everybody, every player and that includes Romelu.”

As Tuchel alluded to, there is plenty of time for Lukaku to turn around his season, and it could begin with a potent showing against Brentford.