For as long as we have had Roman Abramovich at the helm, we will be linked with strikers when the transfer windows open, and this summer should prove now exception.
Lukaku has had a stunning season at West Brom; banging in 17 goals in 35 league matches, with 15 of these appearances coming from the bench.
With Ba and Torres performing rather poorly in the league, most fans would be keen on welcoming Lukaku back into the frame for the 2013/14 season. But the question is, would he?
Chelsea are well known for their rotation policy, especially over the past season, and should we be left with three strikers fighting over the single role, the Belgian cannot be guaranteed even close to the number of games he managed at the Hawthorns this season.
Our Belgian trio of De Bruyne, Courtois, and Lukaku, may all be away from the Bridge next season, especially as next season cumulates in the World Cup in Brazil, with all three vying for a place in the national team.
Lukaku is yet to announce himself fully on the international stage. 3 goals in 19 appearances has done nothing to show Marc Wilmots that he is ready for the International stage. However, the Belgian boss will have been extremely impressed with this seasons performances, of course highlighted by the final day against Manchester United, where he scored a hat-trick after coming on as a substitute.
Unfortunately, two of his striking compatriots also ply their trade in the Premier League, Christian Benteke, who has 19 goals in 34 appearances for Baggies local rivals Aston Villa, and has been linked with a move to a bigger club. The other is Kevin Mirallas at Everton, and despite his lack of goals last season and on the international stage, he has managed nearly double the caps of any other Belgian striker, and may well already be on the plane next summer.
Lukaku and Benteke may well both be contending with each other for that first-team place already, and with rumours that Benteke will be staying in the Midlands, you would expect Lukaku to want another full season under his belt, or he can forget about upstaging Benteke in Brazil 2014.
The World Cup is the ultimate stage for any footballer, and with the up and coming stars in the Belgian squad, you can bank on a couple of upsets from them over the next few years.
What is for sure, is that I believe Lukaku is a player we must look after and keep for the future of the club, but I must admit, I feel it will be almost impossible to persuade him to join the squad for next season, unless either Torres or Ba was sold this summer. However, after the World Cup next year, his value may well go up significantly, and then it is imperative we bring him back to the Bridge, and nurture his progression and fulfill the potential that is there for everyone to see.
By Brad Smith