Whichever way you look at it, Chelsea have been fantastic going forward so far this season. Their dynamic attacking midfield is a creative powerhouse, scoring and setting up goals almost at will, and with more than enough strength in depth to last the season. This is not the case with their strikers, where Fernando Torres has played nearly every minute of every game he has been available. The Spaniard has looked increasingly jaded in recent weeks, particularly away at Shakhtar, and it is beginning to look like a serious problem that Chelsea don't have enough in reserve to replace Torres.
As a result hundreds of reports that Chelsea will look to sign a new striker in January have sprung up, with Radamel Falcao constantly linked to a £48 million move. In amongst this flurry of speculation Chelsea's 19 year old "new Drogba" has been performing very well at loan club West Brom, so surely the logical move is to bring him back in January?
It may seem slightly ludicrous to almost every other club, even in the Premiership, that Chelsea already own a striker most teams would be desperate for, and that they have decided to let him go on loan when they only have two other senior strikers available. But there must have been reasons, and you can already see that Lukaku has benefitted from the playing time he has had at West Brom. The question is whether Chelsea now allow him to continue that progress at West Brom for the whole season, or bring him back to Chelsea as cover for Torres.
I would argue that Lukaku could make a huge difference in the second half of the season for Chelsea. He is a powerhouse of a forward, but has plenty of skill as well. He is also used to the kind of system Chelsea have adopted, having played at the head of a Belgian team that has an array of skillful attacking midfielders. Lukaku would surely be a more natural fit for the formation than Daniel Sturridge, and if Torres continues his indifferent form, Lukaku could put in a real claim for a starting place.
When he came to Chelsea, Lukaku had a growing reputation as one of the best prospects in Europe. Chelsea reportedly spent a fee that may rise to around £18 million for that potential, and they should look to see a return on that money by recalling him in January.
image: © wshjackson