When the summer transfer window closed at the start of the season, Jose Mourinho claimed he was happy with his core of strikers. Having refused to sell the out of favor Demba Ba to rivals Arsenal, Mourinho allowed the deadline-day loan of 20 year-old striker, Romelu Lukaku, to Everton. Many critics and fans questioned the loan move, believing that the Belgian international had proven his worth on loan at West Brom last season.
Recently, reports surfaced that it was Lukaku who approached Mourinho about leaving the club on loan. Lukaku had been told he would not be playing consistent first-team football at Chelsea this season and the ambitious striker decided he needed time on the pitch to develop.
Since arriving in Merseyside, Lukaku has been in scintillating form. The powerful striker has put in four goals for Everton so far this year and looks to, again, be one of the season’s standout players.
The young man has no intent of slowing down anytime soon either, as he has officially made it his target to score more goals than any Chelsea striker in the coming campaign. Considering Lukaku’s track record, and the fact that a Chelsea striker is yet to score a goal in the Premier League this season, it’s highly likely that Romelu will meet his mark.
Recently said Lukaku on his current situation, “The only thing I can do is play well and score a lot. And then I think people will say that I’m a good player.” He continued, “I want to score more goals than the strikers of Chelsea. We will see at the end of the season who made the best choice.”
Jose Mourinho is not a manager to humbled into admitting the errs of his ways. However, what will the manager say if Lukaku puts in twenty or more goals this season? Better yet, what will Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich say? Chelsea fans were chomping at the bit to see the young striker blossom in the Chelsea blue this season. Many Chelsea faithful were willing to brush the disappointment of Lukaku’s departure away, trusting that their beloved leader Mourinho knew what was best for the player and for the club.
However, if Chelsea’s strikers are unable to find the net this season, many will question as to whether Lukaku should have been given more of a chance. Mourinho has stated his opinion on Lukaku’s success at Everton, claiming that being an effective striker for a club like Everton is much easier than one like Chelsea.
Ultimately, Chelsea’s final league position will determine Mourinho’s mistakes this season. If the London club fail to win the Premier League due to their inability to convert goals up front, people will point to the loan of Lukaku. If Chelsea manage to get along without Romelu, and he returns a better, more mature player at the end of the sesason, then Mourinho will come off a genius.
Only time will tell if Lukaku’s absence will cost Chelsea in the long run. For now, one thing is for sure. Romelu Lukaku is a dynamic player with a future at the very top. Chelsea fans can only hope that he remains at Stamford Bridge long enough to fully develop.