Why Chelsea introduced Lukaku again to Stamford Bridge

Football

Future is asking for Romelu Lukaku. The 28-year-old has completed a sensational return to Chelsea from Internazionale in a deal that fell simply in need of breaking the British switch file for the second time in as many weeks, after Manchester City‘s £100 million signing of Jack Grealish.

The monetary results of COVID-19 have polarised golf equipment by way of their energy within the switch market. Chelsea, backed by the billionaire proprietor Roman Abramovich and working with a shrewd and ruthless recruitment technique, are properly positioned to use the vulnerabilities of groups like Inter.

The Nerazzurri ended an 11-year await the Serie A title final season, but homeowners Suning have held discussions to promote the membership as they face the dual threats of decreased revenue ensuing from the pandemic and an instruction from Chinese language President Xi Jinping demanding abroad traders refocus their ambitions domestically. Inter had already transferred defender Achraf Hakimi to Paris Saint-Germain for €70m, and have now misplaced Lukaku, who turned the main star in Serie A after scoring 44 objectives in 63 begins.

The fan backlash is already underway with Inter supporters furiously against his departure. Protests are placing strain on a beleaguered board.

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As ESPN had beforehand reported, the Blues were weighing up their options after having two bids rejected however a pivotal issue has been Lukaku subsequently informing the Inter hierarchy he want to depart if an acceptable bid arrived.

So why did Lukaku wish to be part of Chelsea? The reply lies, a minimum of partly, in lastly getting the prospect to emulate one in every of his all-time heroes: Didier Drogba.


When Lukaku signed for Chelsea from Anderlecht for £18m in 2011, backroom workers organized for the promising, however uncooked, 18-year-old to take a seat subsequent to Drogba within the altering room at Cobham.

There have been apparent similarities given their highly effective physiques and comparable taking part in types: strong centre-forwards able to bullying defenders into submission. However Lukaku got here to admire Drogba as a lot for the adversity he overcame earlier in his profession.

Drogba admitted in his autobiography “Dedication” that he thought of leaving Chelsea in the direction of the tip of his second season on the membership, in 2005-06, having felt misunderstood and underappreciated as he acclimatised to English soccer. He was written off in some quarters as a blunt instrument, derided by others as a diver for going to floor too simply.

But by the point Lukaku arrived in west London 5 years later, Drogba had cemented his legendary standing as one of many Premier League’s all-time greats. Lukaku could not get a recreation, watching on from the sidelines because the Ivory Coast worldwide earned sporting immortality by scoring the profitable penalty in opposition to Bayern Munich to ship Chelsea’s maiden Champions League trophy with what gave the impression to be his final kick for the membership.

It was a fairytale finale that led Lukaku to explain Drogba just a few years later as his “icon,” regardless that that storyline got here on the expense of his personal. Chelsea most popular to carry Drogba again as a veteran for a second spell on the membership in 2014 moderately than entrust Lukaku with the accountability of main the road.

Lukaku made simply 15 appearances for Chelsea and was as a substitute loaned out to West Bromwich Albion after which Everton, who paid a then-club file £28m for his providers in 2015. Drogba completed his profession with one Champions League crown, 4 Premier Leagues, 4 FA Cups, three League Cups and one Turkish Tremendous Lig title with Galatasaray along with 66 objectives from 106 worldwide appearances, an Ivory Coast file.

Sources have instructed ESPN that the pair are nonetheless frequently in contact, sharing recommendation and experiences which have led Lukaku to some extent the place he feels able to show himself in English soccer another time. Drogba can’t wait both, pre-empting Thursday’s affirmation with a tweet 5 days earlier with an image of Lukaku and the phrases: “He is coming house.” It feels as if the time is correct for each Lukaku and Chelsea. It feels as if the time is correct for each Lukaku and Chelsea.


Drogba scored 164 objectives in 381 video games for Chelsea. Solely Frank Lampard (211), Bobby Tambling (202) and Kerry Dixon (193) have extra. He turned a fearsome centre-forward, able to profitable video games on his personal, aligning elegant approach and intelligence to superior energy and aerial prowess. He was so typically, fairly merely, unplayable.

Chelsea have largely discovered him irreplaceable, however not for the need of attempting. It’s estimated that membership have spent within the area of £230m on forwards since he ended his first eight-year keep in 2012. A dozen or so have tried to fill Drogba’s footwear however maybe just one has come shut.

Diego Costa, a £32m signing from Atletico Madrid in 2014, spent three years on the membership throughout which they gained the Premier League title twice, mainly due to his 52 objectives in 89 video games. Costa’s antagonistic model — 31 yellow playing cards in 120 appearances solely scratches the floor of how he scratched others — gained him few followers exterior Stamford Bridge, and in the end he grew uninterested in English soccer in a means Drogba had threatened to.

Apart from Costa, Olivier Giroud has carried out an admirable supporting function in latest seasons, however Fernando Torres, Alvaro Morata, Michy Batshuayi, Loic Remy and Demba Ba all fell badly brief simply as mortgage strikes for Radamel Falcao, Gonzalo Higuain and Alexandre Pato yielded few dividends. Timo Werner has threatened to affix that checklist after a profligate first season in England, therefore why Lukaku has been recruited.

Sources have instructed ESPN that Chelsea’s major goal was Erling Haaland, however Borussia Dortmund are reluctant to half with the 21-year-old prodigy this summer season, and there’s a widespread acknowledgment that the Blues urgently want a 20-goal striker to problem for the Premier League title.

There have been doubts whether or not Lukaku might be that man when he final performed in England. Few would guess in opposition to him now.


Lukaku virtually joined Chelsea in 2017 when it turned clear he had outgrown Everton. Jose Mourinho’s presence at Manchester United was a major consider his resolution to maneuver to Outdated Trafford, however sources declare of better significance was Chelsea’s reluctance to pay Lukaku’s agent, Mino Raiola, an enormous payment.

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Chelsea legend Frank Leboeuf is blissful for Romelu Lukaku who’s reportedly closing in on a return to Stamford Bridge.

His two years at United had been combined. A blistering begin — 11 of his 42 objectives for the membership, or 26%, got here in his first two months there — gave method to detached type that led to questions over his software and conditioning.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer changed Mourinho in December 2018 and set about assembling a squad that really needed to play for United. He determined they had been higher off with out Lukaku, who discovered himself at Inter in 2019 going through the duty of proving himself another time.

He started that process by shedding weight. Lukaku misplaced round 3 kilograms inside a month of arriving on the San Siro after supervisor Antonio Conte instructed him to comply with the Bresaola food plan, which focuses on an consumption of chicken and greens.

He has dramatically improved his link-up play, one thing Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel admits his workforce are missing following Giroud’s departure to AC Milan.

“With the exit of Olivier Giroud from the kind of gamers [we have], we might use a participant used to play with their again to objectives whose energy is to maintain possession from lengthy balls so we are able to add this direct model of play to our portfolio, and that is the attribute of participant that’s not Tammy [Abraham], Timo or Kai [Havertz],” the Blues boss stated earlier this month. “It is a profile we do not have within the squad and might be helpful, however not for any value and never hectic or in panic as it doesn’t matter what occurs we might be aggressive.”

Lukaku has matured into an entire centre-forward, albeit one Chelsea have needed to pay high greenback for, possible with little resale worth. His all-time file of 251 objectives in 508 appearances at membership stage and 64 in 98 for Belgium is a pedigree that few can match however, maybe extra considerably, he feels able to be thought of among the many finest on the earth.

“Once they discuss [Robert] Lewandowski, [Karim] Benzema, [Luis] Suarez, [Harry] Kane, they’d say it is world-class stage, and with me it is at all times about being in good type,” Lukaku stated throughout Euro 2020. “Within the final two years I feel I’ve proven it is not simply good type. I belong with that group, I’m at that stage.”

Drogba would certainly approve.

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