Romelu Lukaku will ruin his career at Chelsea

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Romelu Lukaku needs to get out of Chelsea as quickly as possible. Preferably, before the close of the transfer window next week, or else he risks another season of stagnation at Stamford Bridge.

For whatever reason, Jose Mourinho doesn't seem to fancy the Belgian striker, and that stance was made abundantly clear with his public pursuit of Wayne Rooney, and later, the free transfer signing of Samuel Eto'o.

Three games in to the new 2013/14 campaign, and Lukaku is the only one of Mourinho's three central striker options - the other two being Fernando Torres and Demba Ba - not to be handed a Premier League start.

After Torres was selected for the opening day victory against Hull City, and Ba included against Aston Villa, the Portuguese tactician opted not to pick any recognised striker in his starting XI for Monday night's clash against Manchester United, instead selecting Andre Schurrle to lead the line for the Blues at Old Trafford.

The goalless draw was, perhaps then, the best result that the unambitious Chelsea line-up could have hoped for, in the home of the reigning Premier League champions, as Lukaku was left as a frustrated spectator, restricted to the away bench for the entire 90 minutes.

Eto'o's arrival in west London represents another setback for the 20-year-old, who has been brought back down to earth with a thud, following his standout campaign on loan at West Bromwich Albion in 2012/13, and an impressive showing during pre-season, where he scored four goals in just 121 minutes of playing time.

Whilst at The Hawthorns, Lukaku scored 17 goals in just 20 Premier League starts last season, the best return of any teenager in the Premier League since Michael Owen for Liverpool in 1998/99.

His red-hot run of form showed no signs of slowing down, until he was once again forced to settle for a place on the periphery of the Chelsea first-team squad, just like he was under Andre Villas-Boas in his first season in England, following an initial £10million move from Anderlecht in August 2011.

Despite making a positive impact in both substitute appearances he has made in the Premier League this season - particularly in the 2-1 victory against Aston Villa - early signs suggest that Mourinho does not have faith in Lukaku to lead his line on a regular basis.

In the aftermath of the Villa game, and with Chelsea's ongoing pursuit of a new striker the hot topic of conversation, Mourinho was asked if he would consider signing Lukaku's international team-mate Christian Benteke, after the Belgian had turned in another impressive performance, and notched his third Premier League goal of the season in only his second game.

Mourinho's response was short and succinct. He paid tribute to Benteke after he'd bullied the Chelsea defence for much of the night, calling him an exceptional player, but only for a certain type of football.

The former Real Madrid boss intimated that he was trying to implement an altogether different style during his second stint at Chelsea. One that would not play to the strengths of Benteke.

That in itself should be cause for concern in the Lukaku camp, when you consider that he is a player in the same mould as the Villa hit man; big, physically imposing, and a good target man, who also happens to be deadly in front of goal.

With all those attributes taken into account, it becomes difficult to find reason for any manager to make a strong case for not having a player of that ilk in their team. But, that's the situation that Lukaku finds himself in at Chelsea, and it shows no sign of changing.

When any player who would walk into the majority of Premier League teams is sat warming the bench at his current club, the common call is for the individual to look for pastures new. In Lukaku's case he really should push for a Stamford Bridge exit, because, under Mourinho, he has no chance of fulfilling his potential.

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Romelu Lukaku
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