Why is Lukaku being overlooked at Chelsea?

Romelu Lukaku for Chelsea

Three games into Jose Mourinho's Premier League return, Romelu Lukaku is yet to start.

Starting Andre Schurrle up front against Manchester United was not just an affront to Fernando Torres, but strikers Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku can feel unfortunate to have been overlooked too.

Of the trio, Lukaku has the most reason to feel upset.

Ba, Torres, and now Schurrle have each started Premier Legaue games for Chelsea this season, while he has yet to.

In fact Lukaku has played just 42 minutes of football so far this season, the final 16 minutes against Hull and 26 against Aston Villa.

Against Villa he offered more over the course of his time on the pitch than Demba Ba did the whole game, and will be upset he was overlooked for the encounter at Old Trafford.

He did not even get off the bench for this one, watching on from the stands as the Blues failed to test David de Gea from inside the box.

If United's defence will have been wary of any Chelsea striker, Lukaku was the man. He netted a final day hat-trick for West Brom in an entertaining if cavalier 5-5 draw on the final game of the season. 

We are, it should be said, just three games into the season - and there is no reason to jump to conclusions that Lukaku will continue to be overlooked.

The Belgian striker will get his chance; he simply needs to seize it and not let it pass him by.

But he could be forgiven for thinking it may be a bit different this time around. Lukaku started more pre-season games than any Chelsea striker, and would have hoped to be given an early opportunity in 2013/14.

Having struck 17 times in the Premier League last season for West Brom, he will feel as though he has paid his dues, and simply wants to get stuck into action under Jose Mourinho.

But should we be concerned, that Mourinho feels he is simply not ready just yet?

Chelsea are keen on signing another striker before the transfer window closes, with Samuel Eto'o most likely. This could yet see Demba Ba leave the club, but would also restrict Lukaku's opportunities.

With Chelsea facing Bayern Munich in the European Super Cup this Friday, few would put it beyond Mourinho to carry on his unpredictable selection policy and pick Lukaku to start up front.

It could just be the grand stage Lukaku has been waiting for to re-announce himself at Chelsea. If so, he dare not disappoint.

Should Lukaku have been given a start in the league already?

image: © Wshjackson

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