Romelu Lukaku Leaves Chelsea FC For Everton: My Reaction


After having a week to digest this transfer I still find it hard to cope with the permanent sale of Romelu Lukaku to Everton, where the Belgian flourished in the role given by Roberto Martinez last season. There had been rumbles of a move back to Merseyside persisting since his rather underwhelming performance in Brazil but I brushed them off as pure tabloid speculation. With fellow Belgian internationals Thibault Courtois and Eden Hazard already at the club and the recent return of Chelsea legend Didier Drogba I felt confident that Romelu could be coaxed into staying put and honing his game under the tutelage of the Ivorian.

Romelu had said in recent statements that he desired guaranteed playing time, whether it be with Chelsea or another club. These comments seemed to irk some fans and Jose Mourinho especially who believed that Lukaku had not yet earned the right to demand starts for the club. Now the striker has completed the move to the Toffies and will call Goodison Park his home.

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I have seen on Twitter and across other media that fans have deemed this sale yet another move of financial genius executed by Mourinho and the Chelsea board. Lukaku was judged petulant and unwilling to fight for a spot in the team, and while Romelu did not handle the situation with absolute professionalism, it’s hard for me to slag him off the way many have chosen. I believe this sale was rash, as it does nothing to help the club win in the immediate future or long term. Selling a player that has proven skill in an area where it sufficiently lacked last season cannot be seen as good business.

In 52 Premier League appearances Lukaku has been able to find the back of the net 33 times, a fantastic return considering the Belgian is only 21-years-old and still adapting to the Premiership. In that time he’s also exhibited his ability to score in crucial Top 6 games with goals against Man City, Arsenal, and Liverpool last season. The year before while on loan at West Brom he bagged a hat trick in Alex Ferguson’s final game as Manchester United manager. Lukaku’s overall performances have also improved by season showing that he is capable of becoming an even more versatile option in attack.

Now at Stamford Bridge the strike force consists of Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres, and Diego Costa. Didier has spent the past two seasons away from the club playing for Shanghai Shenhua and Galatasaray facing lower levels of competition in the Chinese and Turkish leagues. While his skills have not completely vanished, at this age he will not be the same player who constantly bullied defenses in his prime. Fernando has never lived up to the fee paid for him and has actually found more ways not to score this preseason.

It now seems fact that the Spaniard will never be able to recapture his Liverpool form as his performances now teeter on the brink of comedy/tragedy. Diego Costa, the clubs most expensive acquisition this summer, scored an impressive 27 league goals last season with Atletico Madrid and has the combination of physicality and finishing aptitude that should translate to success in the Premier League. But the striker alone cannot completely remedy what has been Chelsea’s biggest problem for the past two seasons. Our lack of quality depth at the forward position could prove to be the clubs reckoning once again were Costa to get injured the way he did at the run-in of last season.

In the Champions League final he was forced to withdraw after nine minutes due to lingering hamstring problems that were unable to be fixed via a horse placenta operation. A month prior to that, Costa was stretched off the field after nastily injuring his leg in a collision with the goalpost.

With these things in mind, it’s not too difficult to see why Lukaku would demand playing time. Given the collective efforts of the trio of strikers at the club last season you have to say it was a mistake loaning Lukaku to Everton in the first place. If Lukaku hadn’t already been on the books I could only imagine the level of interest we’d have in in trying to get him signed given his performance at such a young age.

The variety of talent that clubs challenging for domestic and European trophies have at each position has greatly increased during this summer. For a club like Chelsea that didn’t already have a surplus of goal scorers letting a player like Lukaku leave cannot be beneficial. To justify this sale based off of transfer profit must be what it feels like to support a certain north London rival. But hey, at least they won a trophy last season.

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