JOE COLE has warned Romelu Lukaku he has just SIX WEEKS to save his Chelsea career.
That’s after the club-record £97million striker missed a point-blank chance in the Blues’ 2-0 FA Cup semi-final win over Crystal Palace.
Romelu Lukaku has been warned he has just six weeks to save his Chelsea careerCredit: Getty
Joe Cole believes Lukaku must improve quickly after squandering an easy chance against Crystal PalaceCredit: BT Sport
The Belgian has failed to impress since his return to Stamford Bridge from Inter Milan last summer, managing just five league goals.
And Lukaku fluffed his lines once again after coming off the bench late on against Palace.
With Chelsea already 2-0 up thanks to goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount, Lukaku was played through on goal by strike partner Timo Werner.
But despite being presented with a point-blank opportunity at an almost-open goal, Lukaku managed to scuff his shot and hit the post.
His effort was met by groans from the Chelsea faithful, whose patience has already been tested several times this season.
And Cole believes Lukaku has from now until the end of the season – six weeks away – to rectify the situation and show he deserves to remain a Chelsea player.
Former Blue Cole told ITV: “Lukaku has six weeks to save his Chelsea career.
“You look at Werner and he doesn’t give up. Lukaku wants to be that focal point but he missed a chance.
“When it’s not going for you, it’s not going for you.
“People saw Lukaku as the missing piece of the jigsaw, it didn’t happen.
“But it can come back as quickly as it goes. Football can change in one game.”
Meanwhile, Tuchel revealed before kick-off that Lukaku’s match fitness remains some way off the standard required to match Chelsea’s tactical intensity.
The German noted: “He is not fit enough for the intensity of our game in an FA Cup semi-final.
“It’s not easy to come into a game such as this with so much riding on it after a spell out with injury.
“It’s just a case of him not having as much minutes recently as the other players, his match fitness is not quite there otherwise there’s a big chance that he would have started today.”