Football

Romelu Lukaku: Chelsea's number one striker?

Lukaku has all the tools to become Chelsea's main striker (©GettyImages)
Lukaku has all the tools to become Chelsea's main striker (©GettyImages).

When signed from Anderlecht in August 2011, Romelu Lukaku was signed to be the next great Chelsea striker, the true heir to the throne of Didier Drogba - the man he has been likened too since his early days playing in Belgium and the player he idolised when growing up.

Lukaku had already shown promise by being the top scorer in Belgium in 2009/10.

Since then Lukaku was forgotten for a while, making little impact. He even refused to hold the Champions league trophy as he did not feel like a winner. Then came the moment that launched his career: on 10 August 2012 he joined West Bromwich Albion.

At West Brom Lukaku was able to "become a man". In his words: "it changed my life".

After scoring his first goal against Liverpool, Lukaku went on to become the sixth highest scoring player of the 2012/13 season - ending with the second-half hat-trick against Manchester United. Quite a way to make a name for yourself, considering that it was Sir Alex Ferguson's last match in charge of Manchester United. 

Now Lukaku is back from his loan spell, and would seem to have a point to prove. He has returned to a squad which is lacking a goalscorer, with Fernando Torres still just coming back to form, and Demba Ba looking out of place.

Lukaku, on paper, should start considering that he scored more goals than both Torres and Ba. If Chelsea do fail to sign Wayne Rooney, then he will surely play most weeks. Even in these pre-season matches Lukaku has scored four goals in three games. 

These early performances set the scene for the man who could lead Chelsea for years to come. Just as Drogba did before him.

What Drogba had was physical power, positioning and the ability to succeed under pressure. This meant that he could change games in a way that only true greats can. When it was going bad for Chelsea, and traditional tactics weren't working, they could just lob it up to Drogba, and he would take care of the rest.

Lukaku can match Drogba at this. He has already proven that he has a game-winning mentality and composure, such as scoring the only goal against the Thai All-Stars from the penalty spot, in what was his debut under Jose Mourinho. Lukaku could perhaps even better Drogba, as he would seem to have his physical prowess, but also perhaps more skill on the ball. 

With the armada of midfield players that Chelsea offer, Lukaku will surely thrive. The talent of the likes of Mata, Hazard, Oscar, De Bruyne, Essien, Van Ginkel, Ramires, and Lampard will give him ample ball to work with. He has already shown a budding partnership with his fellow Belgian countryman, Kevin De Bruyne.

Time will only tell whether this Belgian monster with lots of hair will turn into the legend he could become, but all the signs are there, the ball is very much in his court, to borrow a phrase from another sport.

And if his composure under pressure is anything to go by, he'll make it 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 Lukaku.

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Topics:
Premier League
Romelu Lukaku
Football
Chelsea

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