Romelu Lukaku was not highly-motivated to compete for a starting berth at Chelsea, according to manager Jose Mourinho.
Belgian striker Lukaku officially left Stamford Bridge to join Everton - the club for whom he performed so impressively during a season-long loan stint in 2013/14 - in a permanent £28 million deal on Wednesday.
Such a sale appeared to be against the wishes of a large proportion of Chelsea supporters, many of whom were keen to see the 21-year-old given a chance to impress following his encouraging loan exploits.
While it was previously assumed that it was Mourinho's famously stubborn nature that may have been preventing Lukaku from committing his future to Chelsea, the Portuguese - in quotes attributed to him by The Daily Mirror - has given a clear indication that it was in fact the player's own reluctance to fight for position that saw him eventually exit the club.
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“The thinking was, first of all, the fact that Romelu was always very clear with us that in his mentality and his approach he was not highly motivated to come to a competitive situation at Chelsea," he said.
“He wanted to play for Chelsea but clearly only as the first choice striker - and at a club of our dimension it’s very difficult to promise a player that status. That reduced, immediately, his desire to come to us. After that Everton came with an important offer and because we want to be inside the Financial Fair Play rules, you have to analyse these situations.”
While Lukaku's future has been the subject of intense scrutiny throughout the summer transfer window, Chelsea's move to bring the legendary figure of Didier Drogba back to West London last week certainly appeared to spell the end for his time at the club.
With Spanish international Diego Costa having already arrived from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, Lukaku obviously faced a considerable battle to start on a regular basis under Mourinho.
While there were believed to be several suitors for his signature, the player obviously felt strong ties to Everton and affable manager Roberto Martinez following his successful spell at Goodison Park.
Lukaku scored 15 goals in 31 Premier League games last season, with Everton qualifying for the Europa League following a fifth-placed finish.
Chelsea fans, did the club make the right decision in letting Lukaku leave? Or should be have stayed and fought for his place under Mourinho? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box provided below.
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