“You want a player to say, ‘I want to play'” – Tony Cascarino Urges Enzo Maresca To Give Chelsea Outcast A Fair Shot

Chelsea New Coach Enzo Maresca
Chelsea New Coach Enzo Maresca

Former Republic of Ireland international Tony Cascarino has advised new Chelsea manager Enzo Maresca to offer Romelu Lukaku a fresh start. He has urged Maresca to sit down with the Belgian and ask him directly whether he wants to be a part of his new project.

Romelu Lukaku Has Not Made It At Stamford Bridge

After failing to break into the Chelsea senior team the first time around (2011-2014), Lukaku rejoined the Pensioners as a tried-and-tested top-tier center-forward in August 2021. Chelsea paid Inter Milan well over $100 million for his services. However, the relationship soured in just a few months, after the Belgian attacker professed his love for the Nerazzurri during an interview.

The following summer, Lukaku joined Inter Milan on a season-long loan. At the start of the 2023-24 summer window, the Blues tried to recover some of the money they spent on him by shipping him off. However, they could not draw good enough offers. Reluctantly, they loaned him out to AS Roma for one season.

On June 30, Lukaku will officially return to Chelsea, but whether or not he will continue remains anybody’s guess.

Tony Cascarino Says Chelsea Boss Enzo Maresca Will Have Final Say In Romelu Lukaku Saga

Former Leicester City manager Maresca will look to do things differently than his predecessor Mauricio Pochettino, and recalling Lukaku could be one of those bold new steps. However, Cascarino has warned that Chelsea should only proceed if the Belgium ace is eager to right his wrongs.

On the Lukaku topic, Cascarino said (via The Express):

First thing I would say [is] this is on the new coach that’s coming in. If you’re going to sit down and you want him. . .because first of all you have to ask the question. You’ve got to say to Romelu Lukaku, ‘You’re back here, there’s [offers] on the table’… but you’re asking the question, ‘I want you to stay if you’re prepared and you want to stay at this football club and give it a go, because I think I can get a tune out of you.’

If you ask the question and he says, ‘Nah I’d prefer to leave,’ then you haven’t got a discussion at all. You never want to take a player who thinks he’s doing you a favor being at your club. You want a player to say, ‘I want to play. I want to prove myself to the Chelsea fans.”

The ex-Everton striker has played 59 games for the club over two stints, scoring 15 times and providing two assists.

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