Romelu Lukaku has revealed that one of the main reasons for his success this season is all to do with West Brom teammate Peter Odemwingie.
It turns out Lukaku used to watch and mimic the Nigerian striker watching him play in Belgian football for La Louviere when he was just 12-years-old and long before he joined Chelsea.
He told the Birmingham Mail: "I’ve known about Peter since I was very little because he was playing in Belgium and I saw him on TV."
He cites Odemwingie as someone he’s always admired and tries to be like in terms of his cleverness as a striker, not the way he tried to engineer transfer moves for himself in a completely different part of the country.
Lukaku is closing in on Odemwingie’s record as a Premier League top scorer with West Brom which stands at 15 goals.
The on loan Chelsea star has been having one of his best ever seasons in the professional game, with a current tally of 14 goals and he’s admitted the chance to break the record of one of his idols is making him a better player.
Lukaku has had a big impact for West Brom this season, improving rapidly as a player from the one that appeared for Chelsea at the back end of last season.
He has confirmed that he wants to go back to Stamford Bridge and become a Chelsea legend but for now, it may not be a bad idea at all for the club to leave him where he is.
The Belgian has even revealed how Odemwingie is one of the players urging him on to set the new Premier League goalscoring record for West Brom, effectively challenging him to become a better striker.
It’s unclear at the moment whether Lukaku will be allowed to stay at West Brom for another season on loan or whether he will be called back and drafted into first team action for Chelsea, which seems likely considering the impact he’s had for the Baggies.
A lot of it depends on who Chelsea appoint as their new manager next season. If it’s Jose Mourinho, as all of the rumours are suggesting, then Lukaku could well have a bigger role at Chelsea next season than he expects.
He is almost an exact replica of former Chelsea great Didier Drogba in the respect that he’s a physically massive striker, very imposing and bases his game around strength and power.
Mourinho created a very successful Chelsea team around having Drogba as a focal point in the attack and if Lukaku wants to become a legend at the club, that’s a pressure and responsibility he may quickly have to get very used to.
Lukaku undoubtedly returns to Chelsea, at some point, as a much better striker than the one that left and it seems the chance to work and play alongside Odemwingie is something which has helped him out hugely.
Let's just hope he watched the striker's deadline day embarrassment, and took note never to replicate such a farce himself.
Do you think he’ll stay at West Brom on loan for another season?
image: © wshjackson