Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel believes Romelu Lukaku is mentally tired having failed to score for the Champions League holders in his last six matches.
Lukaku started the season well on his return to the Blues from Inter Milan for £97m, scoring four goals in his opening four matches.
But with the 28-year-old currently struggling to convert chances in front of goal, Tuchel believes the physical toll on playing in big matches for his national team, helping them to the last eight of Euro 2020 and the Nations League semi-finals, is impacting his club form.
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“At this moment it is my opinion, I feel Romelu is a bit like overplayed,” Tuchel said ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League Group H match against Malmo.
“I think he played in too many competitions over the summer. Too many competitions with his country. He played the Nations League and he is a fantastic athlete and such a competitive guy that he never takes it easy.
“He wants to be out there and win. He wanted to have a good outcome for the European Championship with Belgium and now in the Nations League it was a huge match for him, it meant a lot personally to play for his country so he takes it seriously. If that does not work well he always puts it on his shoulders.
“He reflects about it and I feel he is mentally tired.
“Not that we have a huge concern just that he does not fully enjoy playing without a second thought. He is overplayed a little bit.
"This the key point, once he finds his rhythm and once he finds it a bit easier. It is difficult to judge whether he needs a break or is it better to keep him on the pitch?"
Tuchel is also concerned about the workload international football has placed on two of his other key players; Mason Mount and Jorginho.
The German added: "The next national break is coming but I feel for him and for others like Mason and Jorginho, they struggle. They have a lot of weight to carry for their countries.
“They take it and they love it. But if you play a 1000 matches a year it can become a bit heavy and this is what I feel between the lines with them.”
Chelsea will be without Christian Pulisic on Wednesday as he has an ankle injury.
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