Mysterious though it may seem, the evidence of Romelu Lukaku’s exclusion at Chelsea is pretty difficult to refute any more. Because as much as fans of the Blues might want to believe otherwise, the prolific Belgian looks as though he has found himself on the fringes of Jose Mourinho’s plans before the season has even begun. Having already drafted in both Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid and club favourite Didier Drogba as a free agent – two smart transfer market purchases – Lukaku finds himself once again tumbling down the pecking order even further than before if he stays. Looking at the 2013/14 season, where the Londoners struggled to find goals as Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o failed to reach the highs expected, the former West Bromwich Albion loanee seemed like he would have provided the perfect solution to their offensive problems. But again he’s been given the cold shoulder and the “Special One” has opted instead to fritter big money on more players. And even though both Costa and Drogba shouldn’t have any problem fitting in and getting to grips with life at Stamford Bridge, the fact that they had a player in their ranks who had bagged 15 Premier League goals and yet still trawled the market just seems nonsensical to say the least.
For a player of Lukaku’s undeniable quality, it would be a real travesty to see his talents wasted sitting on the sidelines of a big club. Football lovers everywhere would feel a pang of disappointment knowing the Belgian international was going unused. Simply put, Mourinho’s apparent apathy towards the striker isn’t good for the 21-year-old’s confidence levels. With Everton’s Roberto Martinez clearly desperate to land a top-notch forward before the transfer window shuts, Lukaku is obviously the one they want – he’s already loved at Goodison Park and he’d slot seamlessly into their style of play once again, it appears the Toffees are willing to stump up the cash. Still tremendously young, the towering target man could stay with Everton for a season or two before the Merseyside club decided to cash in on his already sky-rocketing market value. With Real Madrid reportedly keen to land him, it’s easy to imagine why Mourinho would ship him off to Everton again instead; selling him to a fellow Premier League club would be better than handing him over to a big Champions League rival.
Everton’s involvement in the Europa League, in tandem with their continued search for domestic improvement, would allow Lukaku a great platform to continue to flesh out his burgeoning talents. Of course, it’s no secret that players of his physical stature and condition often find life in the English top-flight more suitable and easier to adapt to; in a division that’s often touted as one of the more physical, his sheer strength and power has found a cosy home. But now that the blue half of Merseyside are Europa League participants once again, the imposing marksman could begin to work more intensely on different aspects of his game – because remember, he’s still developing. Coming up against the likes of Fiorentina and Sevilla, he could learn more about how to adapt his style of play against a wider variety of formations, tactics and managers’ philosophies. He’d also figure out how to work to his strengths as well as eradicating his weaknesses. Because, and there can’t be any doubt in this, he’d be their main source of goals.
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