When the £97.5 million return signing of Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan was announced last August, Chelsea fans could not have been more excited.
They had acquired a prolific, world-class number nine that they so desperately needed for the season ahead.
Many had tipped Lukaku to claim the golden boot come the end of the year but move the clock forward seven months and the Belgian is struggling to find a regular starting place in the side.
Amassing just five Premier League goals so far this season, he has not hit the heights that were expected of him.
With 22-year-old wonderkid, Kai Havertz, on excellent form of late Lukaku’s place on the side-lines has been cemented.
The German has netted six times in his last seven appearances for the Blues and is looking the most confident he has ever been in a Chelsea shirt.
His measured touch and finish on Sunday clinched three points against Newcastle United and extended his rich vein of form.
Despite the quality of performances from Havertz, Lukaku is still getting opportunities, but he is playing a significantly different role than the one he had at the start of the season.
It is evident that Thomas Tuchel still values Lukaku as an important member of the squad that he can trust, otherwise he would not bring him on for deciding moments of games.
The last Premier League match he started was nearly a month ago, when the Blues snuck away from Selhurst Park with all three points after a late goal from Hakim Ziyech.
In this game, Lukaku was a shadow of the player he can be, in fact he only touched the ball seven times, it can be considered as probably his worst performance of the season.
Lukaku has not had the smooth sailing time he would have wanted when he returned to Stamford Bridge, but to prove yourself as a world-class striker you must get over these hurdles.
He can still offer a massive amount for the Blues, and with the season drawing to a close, it is vital that he is someone they can depend upon, no matter the role he is given.
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