Romelu Lukaku agreed professional terms at Anderlecht while still at school and his education was subsequently documented for a fly-on-the-wall show entitled ‘De School Van Lukaku’ (Lukaku’s School). On a field trip with his classmates, they visited Stamford Bridge, where Lukaku revealed: “What
The signing of Lukaku could be used to represent the Chelsea reign of Andre Villas-Boas in microcosm, well intentioned yet ultimately ill advised, the wrong move at the wrong time. Villas-Boas was tasked with turning over an ageing side and admitted that signing Lukaku, one of football’s brightest prospects, was an opportunity that they could not afford to pass up. “He is one of those players we couldn’t afford to lose because of his potential and that’s why we made the move in the market even though our team is competitive enough in that sector of the field” he ominously revealed in August.
Lukaku has since started three games for Chelsea, all in the Carling Cup, completing the full 120 minutes of a penalty shootout victory against Fulham, before withdrawals near the hour mark against both Everton and Liverpool. He has made a further seven appearances in the league, all from the bench, usually for the last few minutes, making a limited impression. Against a backdrop of the never-ending struggles of Fernando Torres and the departure of Nicholas Anelka, Lukaku also failed to benefit from Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou spending a large chunk of the winter at the African Cup of Nations.
Belgium coach Georges Leekens recently warned Lukaku that his international future is under threat if he continues to miss out on regular first team football. His agent, Christophe Henrotay, is also believed to have held talks with Chelsea officials in Paris in the last few days, where the possibility of a loan move was discussed. Henrotay revealed to the Daily Mail that: “It is clear that, if Romelu’s situation stays the same, we have to search for a solution.” Lukaku also explained: “I will head back to Chelsea with the advice of Leekens in my mind. We had a long talk and his words made me think.”
Lukaku boasts all the attributes required to become a phenomenon, a monster of a man, he is built like a heavyweight boxer and is already the heaviest player in the Premier League at only 18-years-old. Tall, quick and strong with positional intelligence and excellent aerial ability, he scored 121 goals in 68 games for Lierse before his 13th birthday, netting 131 in 93 games for the Anderlecht youth team. Making his senior debut 11 days after his 16th birthday, he scored 15 goals in 25 starts in his first senior season, before moving to Chelsea for an initial £13m, which could rise to as much as £18m. Not selected in the 18 that travelled to West Brom, recording a 1-0 loss that cost Villas-Boas his job, Lukaku will hope that caretaker Roberto Di Matteo is more willing to utilise him than the manager that signed him, otherwise a suitable loan destination will be sought.
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