After Manchester City broke the British transfer record with the signing of Jack Grealish, Chelsea felt a bit left out. So they went out and bought Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan and he came just three million lesser than the money paid for Grealish. Lukaku’s transfer marks the highest money paid to an Italian club for a player.
So with exorbitant amounts of money spent on Romelu Lukaku, let’s look at why Chelsea have re-signed him and what he’d bring to the Chelsea blue?
CHELSEA NEEDED A PROPER NUMBER NINE
Even though Chelsea are the current European champions, they actually finished fourth in the Premier League last season. They found the net just 58 times in the league in the previous season which was the lowest amongst the top seven teams of the league. Their star signing from the previous season Timo Werner was misfiring. Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud who has left the club now, were out of favour.
Their expected goals tally from the Premier League was 62.92, which means an underperformance of almost five goals in the previous season. Jorginho was their top league scorer with seven goals and that were all penalties. That made him the Blues’ lowest-scoring top scorer in a top-flight campaign since 1974-75.
These numbers clearly suggested the desperate need to find a proper 20 plus goals striker and in Lukaku they have found exactly what fits the bill.
EXPERIENCE OF PLAYING IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE
Romelu Lukaku came through the youth system of the Belgian club Anderlecht. He soon moved to London when Chelsea came calling. Lukaku was just 18 at that moment. He spent a season at West Bromwich Albion on loan and soon moved to Everton as chances were limited at an already established Chelsea side.
Interestingly, Lukaku became just the fourth player to score 80 goals in the Premier League before turning 24, all those goals came for West Brom and Everton, having failed to score for Chelsea.
Next up was a big-money move to Manchester United and in his debut season, Lukaku became one of only 11 Manchester United players to hit 25 goals or more in a campaign since 1992-93. He didn’t feel loved at the club and that was the time where a move to Inter Milan transpired after just two seasons with the Red Devils.
He is the 20th top scorer of all time in the Premier League with 114 goals, despite playing only eight seasons in the top flight of English football. He has been harshly criticised for his time in England and he is back this time around to show that he is a world-class striker and one of the best in the world currently.
PLAYERS AROUND HIM WILL EXCEL
In Lukaku’s words, he calls himself an improved footballer with his back to goal. His hold up play has improved tremendously and we saw exactly that in the victory against Arsenal. He has immense physical and athletic qualities now. He has grown with his presence on the pitch, teamwork, and composure in front of goal.
In the system that Thomas Tuchel plays, with two attacking midfielders just behind the striker and wing backs pushing high up the pitch, Lukaku seems to be the perfect number nine for that particular formation. He can hold the ball up for the likes of Mason Mount or Kai Havertz or Timo Werner to run off him. He can get his head on crosses delivered by the wing-backs and can be a nightmare for any team to play against.
One particular player who could flourish alongside Lukaku could be Timo Werner. The German in his time in the Bundesliga always played alongside a strong striker and his link-up with Lukaku could be devastating as the season progresses.
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