Tuchel opens up on Lukaku apology but admits "there may still be a smell"

Thomas Tuchel has lifted the lid on Romelu Luakaku's apology to the Chelsea squad but has admitted "there may still be a smell" surrounding his controversial interview last week.

The 28-year-old returned to Stamford Bridge in August for a cool £97.5m but has found himself out of favour in west London, starting just one of The Blues last 13 Premier League fixtures.

Lukaku hit out at the German boss on Friday, venting his frustration at a lack of game time following a mega-money move from Inter Milan over the summer.

"Physically I'm doing great. I'm just not very happy with the situation, but that's normal," Lukaku told Sky Sports.

"I think the boss has decided to play a different formation but I have to stick at it and get on with it professionally."

As a result of the interview, Lukaku was dropped for the arrival of Liverpool on Sunday but Tuchel has confirmed he will be back in the squad for Wednesday evening's League Cup tie against Tottenham.

Speaking ahead of the semi-final first leg, the German claimed all is forgiven between himself and Lukaku, stating there are "zero doubts in his commitment to the team."

Should Romelu Lukaku be given a second chance by Thomas Tuchel? Let us know in the comments section.

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"He is aware of what happened and he created and feels the responsibility to clean the mess up but there may still be a smell of course," Tuchel explained.

"We are happy that he is our player and we will protect him. If someone strongly disagrees, this is about the team with everything we do."

He added: "He is very committed. That is why it was so surprising to me. He scored against [Aston] Villa and then the next game but he was there and decisive.

"I never, before the interview, had the slightest doubt that he was not committed. He is an emotional guy, he does not hold back with his opinion.

"We should not just blame him and point on the negative side of it, we have to adapt. It created some noise that you don't want but there are zero doubts in his commitment to the team."

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