Stats: Why Mourinho may have been right to let Lukaku go on loan

There are a few statistics that may surprise some fans.

There has been a lot said about Chelsea’s lack of firepower up front this season, and manager Jose Mourinho came in for some criticism for letting Romelu Lukaku leave the club on loan in the summer.

There is no doubt that Lukaku is a promising talent, having played a big part in West Bromwich Albion finishing eighth in the Premier League last season, scoring 17 goals for the Baggies.

He has carried that form over this season to Everton as the side are well placed to get into next season’s Champions League, meaning if they win their remaining Premier League games then they will be playing in Europe’s premier club competition this season.

But, Mourinho may well have been justified in letting Lukaku go on loan, according to these statistics.

  TeamPosmins / GoalsAppsMins
Romelu Lukaku Everton FW 165.62 28 2,153
André Schürrle Chelsea FW 158.71 26 1,111
Samuel Eto'o Chelsea FW 154.00 20 1,232
Demba Ba Chelsea FW 114.00 16 456

Whilst Lukaku may have been in very good form this season, and has been more prolific in front of goal in absolute terms than any of Schurrle, Eto'o and Ba, the Belgian has spent a lot more time on the pitch, therefore had more of an opportunity to get on the scoresheet. But the trio that have been playing for Chelsea this season have managed to get their goals on a more frequent basis in terms of minutes they spend on the pitch.

  TeamPosmins / Total Scoring AttAppsMins
Romelu Lukaku Everton FW 25.63 28 2,153
André Schürrle Chelsea FW 25.25 26 1,111
Samuel Eto'o Chelsea FW 22.40 20 1,232
Demba Ba Chelsea FW 19.00 16 456

Though this statistic is a little closer, Lukaku is still trailing the trio - and this includes a player in Schurrle that isn't always asked to lead the attack, just on occasions. Some will argue that Chelsea should have kept Lukaku and played him ahead of Torres - who the Belgian is way ahead of on these statistics. But if Mourinho feels he gets more attacking threat out of three of his options, as these statistics suggest, it would vindicate his decision to send him on loan.

Let's not forget Lukaku is still a young player, and is still developing. Therefore he might not have got the opportunity at Stamford Bridge that he has received at Goodison Park meaning that the decision to loan him out at the start of the season has been beneficial to all parties. 

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