Romelu Lukaku has always attempted to play down comparisons with Didier Drogba even though Chelsea originally signed him from Anderlecht in the hope he would eventually replace the Ivorian striker.
But even though Lukaku has been keen to make a name in his own right, the Belgian admits he seeks advice from Drogba on a regular basis, revealing the pair still share a close relationship.
Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew was the latest man to compare the two, as his side failed to stop Lukaku's goal-scoring streak, which now extends to six games in a row, in Monday's 1-1 draw. The 22-year-old was flattered by the comments but doesn't want to be known as Drogba Jr.
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According to the Sun, he said: “He is my idol and he knows it — but I am Romelu Lukaku and I am proud of my family name. I want to make my own story. I respect Didier a lot but there are differences in our style of play.
“We phone or text each other and he gives me tips all the time. We have had a really special relationship since day one. I saw what a top professional he was — not just him but John Terry, Frank Lampard, Nicolas Anelka and Fernando Torres.
“As an 18-year-old I was watching what they were doing and soaking it up. Looking back I think it helped me to be the player I am today.”
It appears as though Drogba's words of wisdom are helping Lukaku reach his potential. He has already bagged 11 goals this season; more than he managed in the entire Premier League season last term (10).
He is one of several player rejected by Jose Mourinho who appears to be flourishing away from Stamford Bridge. Indeed, Kevin de Bruyne is also impressing at Manchester City following his £55million move from Wolfsburg last summer.
With Chelsea languishing in 15th place, plenty of critics have chosen to take note of Mourinho's decision to sell these rising stars. The Blues may have got good value for them at the time, but how much more would they be worth if they were given a chance to impress?
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