The 20-year-old Belgian had been on loan last season with West Brom, for whom he scored an impressive 17 goals and 7 assists in 35 Premier League appearances.
Lukaku has now returned to West London where he was understood to be looking forward to fighting for his place in the Blues’ first-team.
However, with the likelihood of imminent arrivals of Jose Mourinho as manager and potentially the likes of Radamel Falcao, Edinson Cavani or Stevan Jovetic, young Lukaku may find himself a regular fixture on the Blues’ bench, despite his efforts for West Brom this term.
With the upcoming World Cup in Brazil next year, Lukaku may well be advised to seek regular first team football either on a temporary loan basis or a permanent transfer elsewhere and reports today linking him with Liverpool suggest Anfield may be his destination of choice.
Lukaku has made 19 appearances for Belgium’s national team at senior level but he may well find strong competition for his position from Kevin Mirallas and Christian Benteke and to give himself a fighting chance of booking his ticket to Brazil he’ll need to be playing regular football to keep up his good form and fitness record.
Due to his fine tally this season at the Hawthorns, Lukaku has been linked with interest from the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, Swansea and now Liverpool.
Brendan Rodgers’ first priority this summer must be to keep Luis Suarez. However, he will need to bring in some extra firepower to his strike-force, despite the January signing of Daniel Sturridge who has started his Liverpool career sharply and the return to full fitness of young Italian striker Fabio Borini.
Lukaku would offer the Reds’ boss an alternative option to what he already has within his ranks. Suarez is obviously the most technically gifted, creative, and able finisher – not just on Merseyside but in England.
Sturridge is also a quality finisher with a great eye for a pass to chip in with assists. He’s fast and physically imposing, compounded by his intelligent movement off the ball.
Borini has yet to make his mark on the Premier League due to an unfortunate spell on the sidelines through injury this term. However, he has great technical skill and can offer the kind of ‘fox in the box’ as a lone striker or an additional creative mind partnering as a second striker.
However, what Liverpool don’t have since the departure of Andy Carroll to West Ham (which now looks to have been agreed on a permanent basis) is a physical presence up front – someone who can act as both a target-man with his back to goal and as a poacher in and around the penalty area.
Lukaku could be available for around £15 million and is proven in the Premier League at the highest level – he would require no period of adaptation to the demands of the English game and he could come in and hit the ground running from the offset.
He would represent yet another astute and quality signing should Brendan Rodgers opt to bring him to Anfield.
image: © wshjackson