Everton's loan star Romelu Lukaku cites Didier Drogba as a sporting idol, a role model and a paternal figure of his. When it comes to Chelsea legends, there are few greater than the Ivorian, as the strong, well-balanced and prolific front-man returned 228 goals and assists from 341 appearances in all competitions, which helped secure a hat-trick of Premier League titles, four FA Cups and a Champions League winner's medal.
Lukaku's affection, therefore, appears well-placed. However, despite Romelu's similar prowess in front of goal, their physical make-up and their on-pitch personality are in contrast to each other, according to Everton defender Sylvain Distin, who believes Lukaku is more of a sporting character than Drogba.
'He might like Drogba a lot as a player but I think Rom’s very different,' said Distin to the club's official website.
'He’s a lot more powerful. Drogba was a mix of strength and, I have to say, 'cheating'. He liked to come strong at you and then when you did it to him he was on the floor. Rom is 100 per cent. If you go shoulder to shoulder with him he’s not going to stop. He’ll just carry on.
'Drogba was canny about when to fall but if Rom can be as good as him in other ways then it’ll be great for him.'
Lukaku, 20, has scored five goals in five games for Everton so far this season. With combined appearances for Chelsea, Lukaku has an efficiency rate (goals + assists / minutes played) of one per 69 minutes.
image: © Erik Daniel Drost