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Soccer-Tuchel confident Lukaku can be Chelsea's 'missing piece'

:Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is confident that new signing Romelu Lukaku can have a big impact and be the "missing piece" for the club as they chase their first Premier League title in five years, he told reporters on Friday.

Lukaku rejoined Chelsea from Inter Milan last week for a club record fee reportedly worth 97.5 million pounds (US$132.62 million).

"We expect him to have an impact... we expect goals... he is a big personality in the dressing room but I am absolutely convinced he will have a positive impact on Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic. Is Romelu the missing piece? We hope so..." said Tuchel.

The German added that the Belgium international is in line to feature against Arsenal on Sunday.

"We have one more training to go but the week was a heavy load for (Lukaku) because he was in the group with the other late starters... we are hoping he is on the pitch for Sunday and things look like it," he said.

Meanwhile, Tuchel confirmed that Pulisic missed training this week due to a positive COVID-19 test and will not be involved on Sunday.

The Chelsea boss, however, sounded optimistic about the availability of Hakim Ziyech and N'Golo Kante, saying that the duo had absolutely no problems in training and "a more physical session" on Saturday will determine their participation against Arsenal.

Speaking about their opponents, who have had four positive COVID-19 cases of their own, Tuchel said he was unsure what the Arsenal team would look like.

"It's a difficult one to predict. They can play maybe the underdog role here because of the complications they've had... it's on us to be absolutely focused. There is a lot of quality in their squad and they can hurt anybody."

Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 3-0 in their Premier League opener last week, while Arsenal were beaten 2-0 by promoted Brentford.

(US$1 = 0.7352 pounds)

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in BengaluruEditing by Christian Radnedge)

Source: Reuters


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