The 20-year-old Belgian striker was allowed to leave Stamford Bridge for the second season in a row, despite his astonishing tally of 17 goals for West Brom last season. This summer, on deadline day, the self-proclaimed ‘special one’ made a special decision to let a very special talent leave the Blues of Chelsea and sign on a season-long loan for the Blues of Everton.
So far it’s turning out to be a decision that working out very well for Lukaku who has scored 4 goals and made one assists in just five appearances for new boss Roberto Martinez, despite the fact he’s played a full 90 minutes of league football just once this term, at home to Newcastle two weeks ago.
At present, the youngster, who will likely be trying to catch the eye of Belgium national team boss Marc Wilmots ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Brazil, is operating a ratio of one goal per every 65 minutes of football for Everton. He really couldn’t be flying higher.
In contrast, Chelsea’s remaining strikers are having something of a goal drought – summer signing Samuel Eto’o has yet to score a goal for the Blues at all this season (341 minutes without a goal), Demba Ba likewise (164 minutes without a goal) and Fernando Torres, whose League Cup goal against Swindon remains his only contribution since the UEFA Super Cup in August, (335 minutes without a goal).
That means, in the Premier League and Champions League, Chelsea’s three strikers have not scored in a combined 840 minutes, making Romelu Lukaku 51.6 per cent more clinical every single one of the Blues trio on average and 206.4 per cent more clinical in front of goal than the trio combined.
"The coach decides and as a player you have to respect that. I chose to leave and it's up to me to prove the coach wrong,” stated Lukaku away on international duty this week.
“The only thing I can do is play well and score a lot. And then I think people will say that I'm a good player. I want to score more goals than the strikers of Chelsea. We will see at the end of the season who made the best choice."
On present form, you’d have to say the young man has already proved his point but the real point is, will he want to return to Chelsea next season? Given that Mourinho showed such little faith in his ability and considered him surplus to requirements and given the fact he’s playing the best football of his career so far away from Stamford Bridge, is he really going to want to go back there this summer?
Who knows what will become of Chelsea, their strikers, or Lukaku by the time next August rolls around – the youngster could have a sensational World Cup for all we know and be the most-wanted man in Europe, there really is no telling what could or couldn’t happen over the next year – but I would be surprised to see Romelu Lukaku playing for Chelsea next season.
image: © wshjackson