Romelu Lukaku


■ It is almost a decade to the day a teenager called Romelu Lukaku moved to Stamford Bridge for the first time for an initial transfer fee of £10m. The striker who was always tipped to follow in the footsteps of his boyhood idol, Didier Drogba, has completed his transfer from Internazionale Milan for a fee of £98m.

The return of Lukaku appears to be the needed missing piece of jigsaw for the European champions managed by Thomas Tuchel. The 28-year-old striker signed a five-year deal with Chelsea that will see him remain in West London until 2026.

“Im happy and blessed to be back at this wonderful club,” said Lukaku in a statement on the club’s official website. “It’s been a long journey for me: I came here as a kid who had a lot to learn, now I’m coming back with a lot of experience and more mature.”

The Belgian international failed to score a goal in 15 competitive outings for the Blues when he was last in the squad, but returns as a far more accomplished player having fired Inter Milan to their first Serie A title in 11 years last season. 

He recorded 64 goals and 16 assists in 95 appearances for the Nerazzurri and will now be expected to help the London club launch a serious title challenge this season.

Romelu Lukaku began his career at Anderlecht in 2009, left Chelsea to join Everton in 2014 as he lacked regular minutes at the Bridge. He went onto to score 87 goals in 166 games for Everton before joining Manchester United in 2017 at the price of £75m. At Old Trafford he scored 75 goals in his debut season but fell out of favour in 2018-2019 amid persistent struggles for form and fitness.

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