Mourinho has faith in Lukaku to lead the Chelsea line

Jose Mourinho believes Romelu Lukaku has what it takes to spearhead the Chelsea attack next season, ESPN has reported, but the manager played down any comparisons between the young Belgium international and Didier Drogba.

Lukaku spent last season on loan at West Bromwich Albion, scoring 17 goals, and returned to Chelsea this summer as Mourinho was installed as the club’s permanent manager. And Lukaku has impressed his new boss in the pre-season friendlies played so far, with Mourinho commending Lukaku on his willingness to learn and improve, confirming that Lukaku is putting pressure on Fernando Torres for his place in the team.

Of course he can challenge Torres,” Mourinho said, adding: “We don’t want the striker just aiming between the central defenders, but making movements, sometimes between midfield or moving wide. Lukaku is very open to learn the kind of movement we want.

Lukaku scored for Chelsea in their 4-1 win over a Malaysia XI and afterwards, Mourinho downplayed any desire to compare Lukaku with Drogba. “We have to respect them both,” Mourinho said. “The best way to do that is not compare Lukaku to a legend. Leave Didier where he is, at the top of Chelsea’s history and leave Lukaku to work hard. The kid is good.

Mourinho added that Demba Ba, widely expected to leave Chelsea this summer, would start the club’s next friendly, with Torres on an extended break having played for Spain at this summer’s Confederations Cup.

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