Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel had already confirmed that the absence of Ben Chilwell and Reece James may have gone some way in his decision to drop Romelu Lukaku for the first leg of the Lille Champions League clash.
Lukaku, 28, has come under severe criticism from the media in the last couple of days after it was revealed that he only made a mere seven touches in the whole of the Crystal Palace win.

"Ha, what can I do? I don't know. Well, now we have to deal with it, the data is out there and speaks a certain language," Tuchel said in his press conference on Monday afternoon.

"He was not involved in our game, it's sometimes like this with strikers. If they struggle a bit with self-confidence, if they struggle a little bit to find the space and to get involved against a defensive side, it can be like this.

"It's of course not what we want and not what Romelu wants, but it's also not the time to laugh about him, make jokes about him. He's in the spotlight of course, and we will protect him."

It was first revealed by The Secret Scout that the manager in question had benched the player who has split opinion amongst the fanbase since the infamous Sky Italia interview, but why has he done this?

Well, alongside giving someone like Timo Werner or Kai Havertz another chance to re-stake their spot back into the first team fold on a regular basis, the absence of key duo Reece James and Ben Chilwell may have well influenced his decision indirectly.

"Maybe both things. Of course, every style changes with long-term injuries to key players. We played the majority of the games with a back three and wing-backs and two of the key wing-backs are Reece and Chilly, who got injured at their peak level," he said when asked about the situation of both first team regulars missing coupled with the drop off in form since for Chelsea's number 9

"They had a huge impact on our game offensively and defensively – Regarding Romelu, offensively with their runs, speed, penetration, and deliveries.

"So, of course, this changes but we are not the only team where these players have the huge impact. In our system, the wing-backs are a crucial position to influence the game.

"Still, we can also play and win games without any player, this is our job and what we want to do. This is what we try honestly when we have injuries or corona cases. It's on us and me to adapt and find solutions. Romelu will always be part of the solution."

Remember, Lukaku started like a house on fire when both Chilwell and James were fit and firing in the first few months of the season, signalling that the money had been well spent.

But injuries can be cruel and Tuchel has not wasted anymore time in adapting his system for Tuesday night's clash as he's made the bold move that many have wanted.

Regardless of intent, the large majority of the fanbase were in agreement with what the reigning Champions League winner did for the visit of Jocelyn Gourvennec's side.

Here's the best of the reaction to this team news topic via Chelsea fans on social media.

@Rio63135441 delivered his two word verdict: 'Right decision.'

@Fadamag22 similarly put: 'Good decision by TT.'

@Alain_hm28 is not surprised one bit by this non-selection: 'Well I would have been surprised if he actually started tbh, how can you start after 7 touches in 90 minutes?

'It had to be done..'

@Mewithurchest predicted: 'He’s being rested for the Carabao cup final isn’t he…'

@Cfctheo1 worryingly admitted: 'We won’t score then. We play a team with not a proper striker. Havertz and Werner ain’t gonna do the job.'

Full team news: Mendy; Christensen, Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso; Ziyech, Havertz, Pulisic.