Romelu Lukaku has finally confirmed that he wants to leave Chelsea. The Belgian star plans to use the World Cup 2014 to increase his value.
Lukaku returns from Everton after a successful loan spell. He has scored 33 league goals in his last two seasons – at Everton and West Brom. Yet, for some reason, Jose Mourinho does not seem to fancy him. He has been linked with permanent moves to Everton and Atletico Madrid in the last few weeks. The anticipated arrival of Diego Costa has only increased those rumours.
Lukaku will be heading into the World Cup 2014 as Belgium’s main striker. He says that the tournament could help him raise his profile across Europe and secure a move to a top club. He said:
“You know Chelsea: every year they buy a new top striker. I remember me coming into the dressing room last year and seeing Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba and going: ‘Whoah! What’s happening here?’ But no problem. Many clubs are interested in me.
“At this stage I have to look to myself. I have to play a good World Cup. That’s very interesting for all the players looking for a transfer, and I must be one of them. Chelsea know my point of view.”
This is a stunning admission from a player who does not expect much first-team opportunities at Chelsea next season. Mourinho confirmed that Fernando Torres will remain at the club. Costa’s signing increases the Chelsea striker count to 4 – considering that Demba Ba is also likely to stay. Even if Ba leaves, Lukaku will be competing against three players (Schurrle can also play up front) for one starting spot.
It is almost impossible to criticise Lukaku in this situation. At 21 years of age, he clearly represents the next generation of top strikers. But sadly, Chelsea (or Mourinho) do not seem to see it that way.
Belgium’s World Cup campaign starts on June 17 against Algeria.