On Thursday evening, Chelsea completed the signing of Romelu Lukaku for a club-record fee of £98million.
The Belgium international returns to Stamford Bridge seven years after he originally departed for Everton, but what’s worth mentioning is the vast improvements he has made to his overall game.
Regardless of whether it was at West Brom, Everton, Manchester United, or Inter Milan, Lukaku has always demonstrated the ability to produce output on a consistent basis, which is exactly what Chelsea need as the lack of goals across the frontline last season was a concern.
Some problems, however, have lied with his inability to remain technically secure in possession, particularly during his days at Old Trafford where the 6ft 3in striker was heavily criticised for giving the ball away regularly in cheap fashion.
But under Antonio Conte at Inter, Lukaku has significantly improved on many aspects of his game, one of which is his close touch control and now epitomises the style of a modern centre-forward.
He runs the channels effectively, bullies centre-backs with his back to goal, and possesses sharp movement and a killer instinct in front of goal.
It’s the profile that Thomas Tuchel requires in his system, with Chelsea’s manager describing the 28-year-old as “one of the best strikers in the world’’.
Lukaku will hope to deliver performances that will emulate previous legendary forwards the club have been blessed with, one of which is Didier Drogba.
Chelsea’s former number 11 gave the club a plethora of defining moments during his time at the Bridge, and clearly hopes that Lukaku can become a crucial figure for the west Londoners following recent social media activity.
Drogba wrote on his Twitter account that he feels ‘proud’ of the Blues’ new front man.
“Another reason why I always tell people to BELIEVE in their dreams and work hard to turn them into reality,” Drogba said, quote tweeting Anderlecht’s message to Lukaku. “Forever proud of your @RomeluLukaku9.”
Lukaku then responded to the Chelsea legend with a simple two-word message of “thank you”, accompanied with praying hand emojis and three blue hearts.
It’s expected that Lukaku will make his first start under Tuchel next week against Arsenal.
When analysing the defensive frailties the Gunners showed against Brentford last night in their 2-0 defeat, without a shadow of a doubt he will be relishing the opportunity.
Source by Football London