Having secured the signature of Romelu Lukaku almost two years ago, it was fair to say that Chelsea had brought in one of the games most sought after youngsters. Impressing for Anderlecht, his physical stature and approach to the game meant he was touted as the long term replacement to Didier Drogba, who departed for Chelsea before moving to Galatasaray over the last 12 months.
However, upon his arrival at Stamford Bridge, Lukaku found himself on the peripherals of the first team and under Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo, was never really handed the opportunity to showcase his capabilities to each respective manager.
Unsurprisingly, a loan move was sanctioned and with the connections between Chelsea and Steve Clarke, West Bromwich Albion was where the powerful Belgian found himself last summer. It is with the Baggies that Lukaku has begun to really demonstrate his ability to the watching world.
His strength, power and speed has seen the youngster touted as one of the candidates for PFA Young Player of the Year, an accolade nobody would claim as being handed to the wrong player, what with his exploits at Hawthorns this season.
Yet, one still gets the impression he’ll struggle for first team action, should the Blues look to take him back to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season. Having recently signed Demba Ba and the continued existence of Fernando Torres means Lukaku would undoubtedly be classed as the third choice striker.
Continued speculation has Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani linked with a move to west London and should either of the pairing make their move to Chelsea, it’ll further hamper his first team opportunities.
Either way, if Chelsea want to bring the best out of the prodigious youngster, they’ll either need to allow him to spend time on loan again this season or refrain from brining in another striker upon his return.