Pundit Gary Neville believes that fans and critics alike should applaud Romelu Lukaku for being brave enough to come out and tell the world the truth. The Manchester United legend also added that the best the Belgian can do now is to ask his teammates and club for forgiveness and then move on.
Despite paying just under £100 million for Romelu Lukaku, Thomas Tuchel didn’t hesitate to drop the Belgian on Sunday for a key six-pointer at the top against Liverpool. That came on the back of an interview the forward did with Sky Italia, where he revealed his unhappiness with the situation at Chelsea. Lukaku also admitted, in the interview recorded three weeks ago, that he would like to go back to Inter Milan someday in the near future.
That didn’t go down well with fans, critics and the German coach as Lukaku was dropped for the 2-2 draw against Liverpool although Tuchel admitted, after the game, that the Belgian is still a Chelsea player and the situation will be dealt with in-house. But despite all the criticism going Lukaku’s way, Gary Neville believes that the world should “applaud Romelu Lukaku in some ways” because of his bravery to talk about his situation.
“We have to applaud Romelu Lukaku in some ways for being brave enough, or whatever you would call it, to come out and speak the truth. I’ve called for players to be more authentic, to be more honest. He is experienced. We have to imagine he knows those words will travel back and the impact those words would have,” Neville said on his Sky Sports podcast.
Yet at the same time, Neville also added that the 28-year-old forward needs to apologize to both his teammates, his team and the fans before everyone moves on from the situation. He also revealed that it’s the best thing to do in the situation and believes that Lukaku would have been suffering on the sidelines, watching his team playing against Liverpool
“If I was a Chelsea fan today, or a Chelsea coach or owner, I’d feel really disappointed by my player saying that, particularly when you’ve invested so much in him. ‘What I would expect of Romelu Lukaku in the next few days is a ‘sorry, I didn’t mean it.’ The best anyone can hope for now is more truth. ‘Look, I said the words I said, maybe I should have held them to myself but they were the truth,” Neville further said.
“‘However, I will commit to my team-mates, I am sorry I caused the problems that I have caused to my team-mates in the build-up to a big game.’ That’s the thing he has to apologise for. So the best he can do is ask for forgiveness in the dressing room with his team-mates.
“Players ordinarily forgive each other, they’ve all been in situations where they’ve made mistakes and you say ‘right, okay coach, he can come back in.’ I think Romelu Lukaku will have been watching that game, suffering a little bit I think, knowing he would want to be out there with his team-mates,” he added.