Antonio Conte speaks out on potential Romelu Lukaku absence for Chelsea vs Spurs

Antonio Conte believes it will be a ‘good thing’ if Romelu Lukaku returns for Chelsea in their Carabao Cup tie against Tottenham on Wednesday evening.

The Belgium international was dropped by Thomas Tuchel for Chelsea’s 2-2 draw against Liverpool on Sunday in response to his controversial interview last week in which he claimed he was unhappy with his situation at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel and Lukaku met on Monday to discuss the striker’s future and the Chelsea manager has suggested that the 28-year-old could continue to be left out of the team.

But Conte insists he wants Spurs to play Chelsea with their strongest players on the pitch.

When asked about Lukaku’s potential absence against Spurs, Conte said: ‘I think it’s always a good thing to play against a team that have all their players available.

‘I think that for the people who watch the game, it’s good to see the best players on the pitch.’

Asked if he felt sorry for the criticism Lukaku has received, Conte replied: ‘Honestly, I’d like to not speak about Romelu.

‘Because Romelu is now a player from another team. I think it would be disrespectful to speak about him and about Chelsea.’

Conte also says it will be ’emotional’ to return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since he left Chelsea in 2018.

‘It will be great to come back to Stamford Bridge. It’s the first time after I left Chelsea,’ said Conte.

‘What I can say is I spent two amazing seasons, I created a lot of friendships in the club. We did a really important, good job. I also enjoyed the work there.

‘I have to tell thanks to Chelsea because they gave me the possibility to work in England. It will be good and emotional to come back to Stamford Bridge.

‘But now I am the manager of Tottenham and I want to give this club 100 per cent.’

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