Thomas Tuchel's damning verdict on Chelsea flop Romelu Lukaku has been challenged by Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer.
The Blues edged to a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, but Lukaku was once again anonymous for most of the match.
The striker touched the ball just seven times during Saturday's derby clash – the lowest of any Premier League player to complete 90 minutes since data was first collated at the beginning of the 2003/04 campaign.
However, Tuchel denied after the game that Lukaku's ineffectiveness was down to Chelsea's system – a claim that both Lineker and Shearer refuted.
The former striking duo hinted that the Blues should do more to get the best out of their club-record signing.
But Tuchel was defiant after the match, insisting: "No, no, it's not about the system.
"Well, it is what it is. But for him, there is no change of system because it's the same attacking structure."
But that didn't wash at all with Shearer, the Premier League's all-time leading goalscorer, who leapt to Lukaku's defence.
He told Match of the Day: "It's clear that they [Chelsea] aren't working on things on the training ground as they are not doing it during the game for him [Lukaku] or for the team."
Do you think Chelsea should be doing more to get the best out of Lukaku? Let us know in the comments section.
And Lineker, the show's host, went one further by insisting that he'd be "hammering people" if he were in Lukaku's position.
He added: "When I played, if I wasn't getting much of the ball, if I wasn't getting service, I would be hammering people."
This isn't the first time that Lukaku's output and Chelsea's system has been highlighted this season, with the ex-Inter Milan star even highlighting it himself earlier in the season during his controversial interview with Sky Italia.
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The 28-year-old has been a major disappointment since he linked up with the Blues for a second spell in a club-record £97.5million deal back in the summer – although he did net twice in as many games during Chelsea's recent Club World Cup triumph campaign.
Hakim Ziyech was the hero for Chelsea in Saturday's clash after his decisive strike late on.
Any hopes of clinching the title have long gone, but Tuchel's side look a shoe-in for a top four finish.
However, the issues over Lukaku and his ineffectiveness in Tuchel's system seems destined to rumble on into next season – which could seriously undermine the German's hopes of mounting a sustained title challenge next year.
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