Since drawing a blank in their attempts to sign Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland earlier in the summer transfer window, Chelsea have turned to Lukaku in their search for an attacking spearhead. The Belgian powerhouse has been in scintillating form since his move to the San Siro in 2019, bagging 64 goals in 95 games for Antonio Conte’s side.
It is that kind of return which tempted Roman Abramovich to reportedly bid close to £100m to re-sign a player who left Stamford Bridge for only £28m in 2013. That bid has been accepted, leaving only paperwork and a medical between Lukaku and a return to West London.
While many Chelsea supporters are delighted that the 28-year-old looks set to return, one man who is not a massive fan of the move is former Blues right-back Glen Johnson.
“I’m not so sure the Premier League suits Romelu Lukaku, to be honest,” suggested Johnson who made 71 appearances in all competitions for the Blues between 2003 and 2008 – per metro.co.uk.
“Obviously he’s a big, powerful lad, quite physical but I just think the Premier League’s a bit too quick for him.
“So no, I wouldn’t like to see him return. But in certain leagues, he is going to get goals, albeit at a slightly slower pace.”
Let’s face it. Johnson’s criticism is overly harsh, but the statistics show that Lukaku did find goals harder to come by in the Premier League than he has in Serie A over the past two years.
Despite making 15 appearances during his first spell with the club, Lukaku has never actually scored a competitive goal Chelsea.
He was more prolific during his time with West Brom (17 in 38) and Everton (87 in 166), but managed only 15 goals in 45 games during his most recent season in England with Manchester United.
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Ultimately, that disappointing return led to his departure from Old Trafford. Chelsea, though, are banking on Lukaku replicating the form that helped Inter claim the Serie A title last season, rather than that which he showed during his final months in Manchester two years ago.
There can be no doubt that Lukaku is a very capable striker and could be a massive asset to Thomas Tuchel at his best.
His prior numbers in the English top-flight, however, don’t automatically stand out as those of a £100m player. If Lukaku hits the ground running in his Stamford Bridge return, though, then he could quickly make his hefty transfer fee appear a bit of a bargain.