Chelsea starlet Romelu Lukaku is hoping to make a major first team impact in January - starting against Portsmouth in the FA Cup.
The 18-year-old Belgian international has found opportunities limited at Stamford Bridge, with the former Anderlecht starlet behind Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge in the pecking order.
But, with Drogba on international duty for the Ivory Coast, Lukaku has sensed an opportunity during the African Cup of Nations period.
"It's a really big month, January. For me it starts from Sunday and to put in a good performance and be helpful for the team would be great, to score a goal would be good for my confidence, but I just want to get a spot in the team and continue enjoying it," Lukaku told the official Blues website.
"Wembley is a big incentive, and we are now playing there for the national team against England in a friendly before Euro 2012, but Chelsea is the most important thing now and I want to earn a place in the starting 11."
"The first few months here have been about learning English football and learning the Chelsea way, so I have played also with the reserves and done analysis with the manager and staff to improve my game. It's gone very well, I had some good games, some lesser ones but in the last five games for the reserves I scored five goals.
"Now I am feeling very well and in the new year it is a new start and I want to earn a spot in the team."
The clash with Pompey will offer Lukaku his first taste of the FA Cup, a competition he's followed closely growing-up in Belgium.
With the Blues' recent history of success in the competition, he knows there is a tradition to maintain, and Lukaku is honoured to be involved in their quest for some historic silverware this season.
"The first Chelsea one I saw was Man United in 2007, the first one at Wembley and from then on I have followed all the finals, even Portsmouth against Cardiff, because after the Champions League and the Premier League for me the FA Cup is one of the greatest tournaments there is around the world," he added when talking about recent finals.
"Everyone participates in it and the best teams want to win it. To be one of the favourites to win it is a great honour and from Sunday on we hope to start on our way to the final."News Now - Sport News