Former Liverpool star, Jamie Redknapp has insisted that Romelu Lukaku is key to Chelsea’s Premier League title hopes this season.
He also believes that the Belgian ‘singlehandedly’ dragged the Blues back into the title race on Boxing Day after the striker came off the bench to help the Blues beat Aston Villa 3-1.
Reece James’ own goal had put the home side in front but the Blues went into the break on equal terms thanks to Jorginho’s 34th-minute penalty.
But Lukaku came on after the break to score the second for the west London side when he found space and headed past Emiliano Martinez in the 56th minute.
The Belgian was then brought down by Ezri Konsa inside the box allowing Jorginho to step up again to score his second from the spot.
The win mean that Chelsea are now level on points with second-placed Liverpool in the table.
“He single-handedly got his team back in this title race. They needed something, they needed a spark and that’s exactly what he brought,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.
“In the first half, they were going nowhere fast and the manager would have been scratching his head and thinking: ‘What do I do?’
“The obvious thing was to bring him on because they struggled so much with Pulisic in the first half as that number nine.
“From minute one he just made such a difference with that confidence. As soon as Lukaku was brought onto the pitch, everything started to click. He gives them something completely different.
“‘But when you can get your best players on the pitch, when you get Lukaku on the pitch, Chelsea look a much better side.
“Of course, they’re right in this title race. Manchester City and Liverpool are, for me, right now the best teams, but Chelsea have got to hope that City have a blip, maybe lose a few players through injury and hope things go their way.
“But Lukaku is going to be a massive part if Chelsea are to win it.”