Antonio Cassano has cautioned that Romelu Lukaku is incapable of stringing three passes together and would be hopelessly incapable of adjusting to Barcelona’s possession-based strategy.
After a poor season following his return to Chelsea for £97.5 million in August, Liga heavyweights Barca have been linked with Lukaku – and former Real Madrid striker Cassano has threatened to boycott games if manager Xavi makes the Belgium striker part of his team rebuilding at the Camp Nou. I admire Barca’s attitude, but if they buy Lukaku, I won’t watch a game anymore, Cassano explained.
With Chelsea, where he has no opposition, he can’t play three passes.” How could he do it at Barcelona, where they play 55 minutes before going for a goal? ‘
Xavi is a young man, a star pupil of the tiki-taka style popularized by Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Barcelona teams, as well as some of the Spanish teams he played for throughout his 14-year international career.
Lukaku was anticipated to be a prolific striker for Chelsea, but he has struggled tactically and in front of goal this season, drawing criticism for his positioning, link-up play, and the way he has been deployed by Blues manager Thomas Tuchel.
Lukaku scored only 12 goals in 40 appearances for Chelsea during a difficult second term at Stamford Bridge, after scoring 30 goals in 44 games to lead Inter Milan to Serie A triumph last season.
Despite his modest tally, Lukaku remains the club’s top scorer as the season draws to a close, one goal ahead of the £47.5 million strikers. Chelsea’s only other out-and-out striker who has scored in double figures this season is Timo Werner.
Tuchel dropped the out-of-form Lukaku in January after he made controversial statements to Italian media that were misinterpreted by many fans as implying that he was considering quitting Chelsea and returning to Italy.
He hasn’t scored a Premier League goal since December 26 and hasn’t played the full 90 minutes in any of Chelsea’s last nine league games. Barcelona is said to be prioritizing Lukaku because Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski are expected to go.
Manchester City is rumored to be leading the battle to sign Borussia Dortmund sensation Haaland, while Bayern has stated that they do not anticipate Lewandowski departing before his current contract expires in summer 2023. In the Liga table, Barca is 18 points behind the champions and arch-rivals Real Madrid. They are a point behind Sevilla in second place, but they have a game in hand.