THOMAS TUCHEL admitted he simply didn't have enough substitutes to bring on Romelu Lukaku against old club Everton.
Lukaku, 28, was glued to the bench during the 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park.
The Belgium international played over 100 games for the Toffees before joining Manchester United earlier in his career.
But a reunion was not in order on Sunday, thanks to boss Tuchel.
He opted to bring on midfielder Mateo Kovacic at half-time, with forwards Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic later introduced.
The German gaffer was asked why he did not use Lukaku when searching for a goal.
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He told the Standard: “Because we brought Jorginho off.
"We only had three changes.”
The Belgian has struggled at the European champions since his move from Inter.
The striker has started just one of the past NINE Premier League games.
Because we brought Jorginho off. We only had three changes.
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And he has just 12 goals across all competitions this term.
Lukaku even admitted he was "not happy" with his situation at Chelsea, with boss Tuchel choosing "to play with another system."
The forward also insisted he "will return to Inter" at some point in his career, which could be sooner rather than later.
If Sunday is anything to go by, Lukaku doesn't have a place in Tuchel's squad.
Although, next season England's top league will introduce the five substitute rule.
It had been pointed out that the Prem is the only one of the main European leagues to have stuck with three substitutes.
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