Chelsea legend and current technical advisor Petr Cech has detailed the slow start Didier Drogba made to life at Chelsea, offering Romelu Lukaku hope that he can yet make his struggling return a success.
The Belgian has struggled to replicate the prolific scoring heights of his Scudetto-winning exploits for Inter Milan, looking unsuited to Chelsea’s current set-up and finding the back of the net on just five occasions in the Premier League this season.
His latest underwhelming display came in Chelsea’s 4-2 loss to Arsenal in midweek as he struggled to get into the game and link up with his attacking teammates, eventually coming off for Kai Havertz 30 minutes from the end.
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That London derby at Stamford Bridge proved his first start since his infamous ‘seven-touch’ match against Crystal Palace in mid-February. But despite his worrying form, Cech has hinted that time is still on Lukaku’s side, pointing to a certain Didier Drogba as a player who took a while to adapt.
Cech wrote in his column on the club’s official website: “He [Drogba] started slower than some people expected.
“I think it was the difference between the leagues, because the Premier League was far more physical, and the referees had a different approach to it. You had to find a way to beat your opponents. Some teams at that time were really physical, with bigger, taller players than him.
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“He also injured his groin at the beginning and that held him back a little bit, but the moment he got going, nobody could stop him. The machine started, and it didn’t stop until he retired. We all know how he became a legend in this club, this league, and in world football.”