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Romelu Lukaku: A Good Player Never Made for Chelsea

Romelu Lukaku has signed for Everton for a club record fee of 35 million euros, penning a five-year contract with the Toffees. It brings an end to a spell with Chelsea full of hope, promise, but ultimately frustration.

As a young boy and teenager Lukaku idolised a certain Didier Drogba, and after signing for Chelsea in August of 2011, his hope was to emulate his hero’s exploits at Stamford Bridge. But, unfortunately, the Belgian was never really given a chance at the Blues, and after being loaned-out to Everton last season, there were mutterings that his time at Chelsea was up.

It is a real shame that the Chelsea faithful never witnessed at first hand Lukaku playing at the top of his game. At his best, Lukaku is outstanding. His strength, eye for goal and athleticism make him unplayable. The young Belgian is a player in the mould of Drogba, a player of similar proportions. Drogba could well have played the role of mentor with Lukaku this season, guiding him into a more developed, mature centre-forward. He could have helped to take Lukaku’s game to the next level.

The simple and frustrating fact is that Jose Mourinho never fancied Lukaku from the moment the Portuguese returned to West London last June. This is Mourinho’s exasperating nature as a manager. If he doesn’t fancy a player there is little anybody, or anything, can do to alter his mind. Just look at his treatment of Juan Mata last season. Lukaku’s penalty miss in the 2013 UEFA Super Cup final was – at least in Mourinho’s mind – the final nail in the coffin.

Despite a fantastic campaign with Everton last season in which he scored fifteen league goals – more than any Chelsea player – Mourinho was still not convinced.

Mourinho said yesterday: “The thinking was, first of all, the fact that Romelu was always very clear with us that in his mentality and his approach he was not highly motivated to come to a competitive situation at Chelsea. He wanted to play for Chelsea but clearly only as the first choice striker – and at a club of our dimension it’s very difficult to promise a player that status.”

I personally find this hard to believe. Chelsea were Lukaku’s boyhood club. Why would he reject playing for them, even if he wasn’t guaranteed to be the absolute first choice striker? Did he sulk when he was left out of the Belgium starting line-up against the USA in the World Cup? No, he came off the bench and scored the winning goal to give Belgium victory. As per expectations of Fruityreels.co.uk, Belgium reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

Essentially I feel that this transfer was engineered due to Mourinho’s unwillingness to give Lukaku a proper chance at the club. Just why Mourinho came to this position is unclear. Perhaps it was a disagreement between the pair, or perhaps Mourinho just came to the conclusion that Lukaku was not good enough to be a Chelsea player. Whatever the reason, the sale of Lukaku is a shame for Chelsea as a club. A young player of such exceptional talent and potential should have been given more opportunities to prove himself at Stamford Bridge. Unfortunately it appears unlikely that we will ever see this boyhood Chelsea fan put on a Chelsea shirt again.

About Richard

I’m a freelance writer in the UK. A Chelsea fan. David Luiz is my favourite player. I am passionate about football and have been since early childhood. I have played for many years too. I have broad and extensive knowledge of football in general.

5 comments

  1. As an Everton fan I’m pleased we’ve got Lukaku, he isn’t the finished article yet and I think with the title in mind that is what Jose wanted. A player who knows how to be part of a winning squad. Lukaku is young player and he knows he needs game time to improve, arguably game time he isn’t going to get at Chelsea given Costa’s arrival, Drogba’s return and £50m laid out for Torres, with those players he’d be down the pecking order.

    At Everton he will be starting most games for a decent Premier League team and playing in Europe (albeit Europa!), his competition in the squad will be Arouna Kone, similar type of player perhaps technically better than Lukaku and whom ever else Martinez brings in on loan. For Lukaku’s career Everton appear the better option.

    I think the deal makes sense to both parties.

  2. I’m ecstatic to have signed Romelu. For years we have been desperately seeking that elusive 20 goal a season striker and in Lukaku I think we finally have them. The best thing is his age and potential. We haven’t signed a 28 year old with a couple of seasons left in the tank. Romelu can lead Everton into a new era.

    However he is still young and there are aspects of his game that need to improve and I think Mourinho was unwilling to guarantee him a central role as he saw these shortcomings. For example, his first touch is very heavy and his link up play is often lacking. Allow him to run at a defence and he is deadly, but he isn’t so good at creating his own chances and can fade out of games if he isn’t receiving good service. This can all be trained into him though.

    The bottom line is that Rom is powerful, pacey and a deadly finisher who will score goals. A striker who can score regularly is exactly what Chelsea were lacking last season, so from that point of view it is hard to understand why Jose didn’t show some faith in the lad, especially with the likes of Scherle, Hazard and Oscar providing the chances.

    Diego Costa looks like an excellent forward and good luck to him but I think Mourinho has made a mistake here and I’m very glad he has!

  3. I think Lukaku is a young striker with potential to be a world class act but he talks to much and probably demands too much also. Certainly Chelsea and Jose can not start him ahead of Costa and even Torres. He’s sold and we wish him all the best in football.

  4. Let his football doing the talking than a small boy player causes a problem with Club, the club big than him? his attitude toward Chelsea and the Coach are not good. Lukaku didn’t want to gives respect to others senior player in Chelsea because of that he did not deserve to be in Chelsea. Lukaku can not play for Chelseafc he isn’t so good at creating his own chances and can fade out of games if he isn’t receiving good service. No team in the league playing against Chelsea gives that space to a striker which Lukaku need to exploit for Goal. Since he did not ready to learn the trick, isn’t the finished article yet he want permanent base Chelsea need to sell him.

  5. Keeping lukaku at chelsea would cause a lot of problems in the dressing room, because of his 16 premier league goals last season with Everton he feels he’s above everyone in the club. But thankGod Jose is wiser than him. We wish him all the best of his career with the toffees.