Everton could be in a great position to make a move for the permanent signing of Lukaku at the end of the season.
It’s a risk because Lukaku is one of the most promising young strikers in the Premier League and just as vulnerable to the ‘Courtois effect’ of not wanting to return to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, just like any player who goes out on loan.
The recent arrival of Samuel Eto’o at Stamford Bridge definitely pushed Lukaku down the pecking order at Chelsea but his size, physical presence and shape means he will always offer whichever side he’s playing for a different option.
The chances that he may not want to return are increased by the fact Roberto Martinez is the Everton boss, a manager who has plenty of experience when it comes to younger players and making them feel valuable.
There were signs, before Mourinho was re-appointed, last season that the risk Chelsea are taking with this move had already started to develop.
“Hopefully after the January window we will be able to start talking about that. At this time I'm just looking at my own career and West Brom, I don't really care about what Chelsea are doing,” said the Belgian last January.
The only justification that anyone needs of Martinez’s ability to get the best out of younger players is the FA Cup success that he guided Wigan to against a much stronger Manchester City side.
Jose Mourinho has clearly looked at the situation and hatched a little plan, cutting Lukaku some slack because all he seems to want to do is play football.
Eto’o has only signed a one-year contract at the club and based on how that goes, he may not be offered a new deal to stay on at Stamford Bridge beyond the current season.
With Lukaku due to return from a loan spell with Everton, the natural progression from one striker to the next is quite clear with the theory that Lukaku will be returning as a better player than he is right now.
However, that lingering risk that Lukaku may crave first team football so much that he doesn’t want to go back to Chelsea will not go away.
If clubs were approaching Chelsea looking for strikers and possible loan deals then it would have made much more sense for the Blues to drop their fee demand for Demba Ba and loan him out over Lukaku.
If Ba gets to the end of the season and doesn’t want to go back to Chelsea then it’s not a big loss and Chelsea fans wouldn’t argue against the club doing a deal to see him leave permanently.
However, with Lukaku it’s different because he’s already a popular player with the fans and his potential is far greater than Demba Ba’s.
Mourinho initially showed great man management skills to convince Lukaku, and several other players, that their futures are at Chelsea but he can do nothing about the ambition and desire which will be created if Lukaku smashes in 20 goals for the Toffees this season.
What do you think? Is there a risk Lukaku may not want to return?
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