Is Romelu Lukaku ready to lead the Chelsea attack?

Jose Mourinho has hinted Romelu Lukaku will be in his first Premier League team of next season.

The big Belgian has backed up a superb spell with West Brom with two in two at friendly level for Chelsea and the boss Jose Mourinho says he is playing himself into a starting role at the club.

There have been plenty of suggestions that it may be better for Chelsea if they send Lukaku back out on loan, to keep injecting him with experience of first team football but he’s hit the ground running under Mourinho.

“Lukaku had a fantastic manager last season but Steve [Clarke] is Steve, I am me and West Brom is not Chelsea. It's up to the kid but he's open and intelligent to learn the kind of movement we want,” said Mourinho.

Lukaku’s game seems to be improving all the time and a lot of that has to be down to the way he’s been coached throughout his career.

Mourinho is obviously aware of the fact that to get the most out of him next season, he can’t be used as a stereotypical target man and to be fair, he’s looked a lot more than that in Chelsea’s last two friendly games.

He’s a good enough player to be able to switch between attacking roles very easily; his technique allows him to get involved in the possession domination Chelsea always look for and he’s strong enough to be able to bully a defence when he needs to.

“The role he played tonight was the right movement. We don't want the striker just aiming between the central defenders but making movements, sometimes between the midfield or moving wide,” added Mourinho.

His chances of starting for Chelsea in the Premier League obviously depend on what happens with Wayne Rooney.

Chelsea have already had a bid for the Manchester United striker turned down and there is every indication they will go back in with a second bid at some point in the near future.

That would threaten Lukaku’s position in terms of starting for Chelsea when the first round of Premier League fixtures come along but at the moment, everything is suggesting he has a great chance of making Mourinho’s side for that first competitive game.

It’s encouraging that he’s always had positive things to say about his role at Chelsea. Even when he was with West Brom, he always maintained that he wanted to become a legend at Stamford Bridge and that everything was geared at being a better striker for the Blues.

Lukaku is making all of the right noises and doing all of the right things as he prepares for that first match against Hull City.

Would you start the season with Lukaku in the side?

image: © wshjackson

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