Tuchel says Lukaku has makings of being next Chelsea captain as Azpilicueta hails £97.5m striker as a 'leader'

CESAR AZPILICUETA has hailed 'leader' Romelu Lukaku – in the same week Thomas Tuchel said the striker had the makings of a Chelsea captain.

The Belgian has four goals in six games since re-signing for £97.5million from Inter Milan.

And Azpilicueta – who saw Lukaku first come in 2011 but go in 2014 – praised the forward for his impact on and off the field with his team-mates.

He said: "He's been massive for us, not only on the pitch but off it as well.

"He's a great personality, he's a leader who always tries to help the other attacking players, always tries to give them tips.

"I was with him when he was here in his first spell and he's completely different.

"That experience, that maturity – it's normal because he has seen and experienced different, things abroad and we know what he's able to do.

"So we are happy to have him back, he love being here at Chelsea and hopefully it can be a very successful time for everybody."

It comes after manager Tuchel, who won Chelsea the Champions League last season, said Lukaku could be a future Blues skipper.

He revealed: "Lukaku is an athlete of the highest level.

"He loves training, he always has a smile on his face, he wants to win every tournament. It's good. He sets an example for others.

"Can he become a captain? Yes, I think he could be. But now is not the time to think about it, we have a wonderful captain.

"The main thing – that Romelu behaves as a captain, and this is more important than just having the captain's armband."

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