BBC Sport pundit raves about brilliant Chelsea FC star after Club World Cup win
Garth Crooks heaps praise on Romelu Lukaku after he helped to fire Chelsea FC to Club World Cup glory
Garth Crooks singled out the “brilliant” Romelu Lukaku for special praise after the Belgian striker helped to fire Chelsea FC to Club World Cup glory at the weekend.
The Belgian forward has been in good form for the Blues in recent weeks after having initially been dropped following a controversial interview with an Italian media outlet.
Lukaku has put his head down and has worked his way back into Thomas Tuchel’s starting line-up, with the 28-year-old having scored in the Blues’ last two outings.
The forward – who rejoined Chelsea FC from Inter Milan in the summer – scored the winner in the 1-0 win over Al Hilal, and then netted in the dramatic 2-1 victory over Palmeiras in the Club World Cup final on Saturday night.
He has now netted 10 goals in all competitions for Chelsea FC since his return to the club.
Former Tottenham Hotspur star Crooks has been very impressed by Lukaku’s attitude in recent weeks and has praised him for the way he has gone about his business following his brief exile from the team.
Picking Lukaku in his team of the week for BBC Sport, Crooks said: “I said Thomas Tuchel would need Romelu Lukaku and so it is proving.
“The overzealous nonsense by the Chelsea manager in sanctioning the Belgium striker after he fell for the flattery of an interviewer in Italy almost cost Tuchel and the club.
“Instead, Lukaku apologised when other strikers of similar calibre might have put two fingers up to the manager and made for the exit.
“All credit to Lukaku, who has knuckled down and worked his way back to form with regular appearances, which is all the £97.5m player wanted in the first place.
“Lukaku led the line brilliantly against Palmeiras and was instrumental in Chelsea winning the Club World Cup for the first time in their history. Not a bad return.”
Kai Havertz netted the winner from the penalty spot for Chelsea FC in extra-time to clinch victory for the Blues.
And the German forward could not hide his delight at playing an integral part in helping Chelsea FC to claim the trophy.
“It’s amazing. From champions of Europe to champions of the world. It sounds better!” Havertz said after the game. “We did so much to be here and to win this game. It’s an incredible feeling.”
He added: “I have to be honest, I was [nervous]. It’s a big penalty, a big role. Just crazy. It was good I kept the nerves, so I’m very happy.”
Chelsea FC will travel to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.