Romelu Lukaku has urged John Stones not to pursue a transfer to Chelsea this summer, with Everton far better place for him to develop his blossoming career.
Lukaku, of course, should know. The Belgium international spent three years on the books at Chelsea but made only 10 Premier League appearances, instead being sent out on loan to gain further experience elsewhere.
After a spending a season with Everton on a temporary basis, Lukaku completed a permanent transfer to Goodison Park in the summer of 2014. But, 12 months on, could an Everton player be about to travel in the opposite direction?
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Jose Mourinho has publicly expressed his interest in Stones, much to the annoyance of Roberto Martinez, and Chelsea have had a couple of bids rejected for the versatile 21-year-old defender.
It is reported that Chelsea may try one last time for Stones this summer, with a £40 million bid in the offing, but Lukaku has warned the England international of the perils that may await him should he move to Stamford Bridge.
He said: “When you go to Chelsea at young age it’s up to you if you want to survive. Do you really want to fight for your place?"
“You get maybe one or two chances, and if you take them you will continue getting them. But sometimes it depends on the situation too. It’s really up to you as a player.
“I made a decision to leave, because in my mind, I thought: I am 21. What’s going to happen now?
“I chose to go to a project where there are young players trying to develop into top players and win titles along the way.
“I could easily have stayed at Chelsea to fight for my place. But you never know.”
It has been reported that Stones, who signed a new long-term contract last summer, would be prepared to submit a transfer request in order to force through a move, and he could be forgiven for doing so.
His situation at Chelsea, were he to move, is unlikely to be similar to that of Lukaku’s, with Stones set to be recruited as a long-term replacement for captain John Terry, while the right-back position of Branislav Ivanovic could also be up for grabs.
Although he would not start every game, as he will at Everton, Stones would surely be used more often than Lukaku was, while the opportunity to learn from Terry may be one too good to resist for the youngster.
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