Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel suggested that taking midfielder Jorginho off penalty-taking duties could be one solution to the Blues’ striker ‘curse’ ahead of his side’s trip to Elland Road to take on Leeds United.
The Blues have consistently struggled to find a striker to fit their needs since Didier Drogba left the club, doing so briefly with Diego Costa but seeing the likes of Fernando Torres, Gonzalo Higuain, Alvaro Morata, Radamel Falcao and Alexandre Pato all come in with high reputations and struggle at Stamford Bridge.
Two more examples, in the shapes of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, have both departed this summer and Chelsea are looking for a new striker between now and the end of the transfer window, with Barcelona’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang one potential option.
And, these failures have led to conspiracy theories about the ‘curse’ of the no.9, something that Tuchel was frank about ahead of the clash with Leeds.
“I struggle to give a clear answer”, he told the media.
“But we need to make sure this is not a self-fulfilling prophecy that we create for ourselves.
“I was ready to improve the situation with Romelu. I was ready to give it new thoughts, new energy. But it wasn’t to be. We had a difficult, disappointing year in this relationship with Romelu”, Tuchel explained.
“That’s on me to create an environment and a team that creates enough chances for a striker to finally have the last touch…and score”, the German added.
One solution, he confessed, could be to give strikers more confidence by handing them penalty duties.
“Maybe we need to take Jorginho’s penalties away. For strikers, this sometimes can increase their numbers dramatically – if you give them eight, nine, ten penalties.”
“But then who would take a penalty from Jorginho.? We want to win in the end. He is a fantastically good penalty taker!”