How much better is Lukaku after rejoining Chelsea?

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
August 13, 2021
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
    Scroll to Top

    Romelu Lukaku in 2011 and nowRomelu Lukaku in 2011 when he joined Chelsea, and now

    A lot has changed for Romelu Lukaku since the last time he pulled on a Chelsea shirt as a 20-year-old back in 2013.

    He has played for three clubs in two countries, cost a total of almost £300m, scored 193 club goals and become Belgium's all-time top goalscorer.

    His 24 Serie A goals – and 11 assists – last season helped Antonio Conte's Inter Milan to their first title in 11 years.

    But why have Chelsea broken their own transfer record to lure the 28-year-old back to Stamford Bridge? And is he the man to help bring the Premier League title back to the European champions for the first time since 2017?

    • Chelsea re-sign Lukaku from Inter Milan for club record £97.5m
    • Lukaku's unfinished business at Chelsea
    • The Sports Desk podcast: How Covid accelerated the power shift in European football.

    A world-class striker?

    Romelu Lukaku's goals, games and assists by seasonRomelu Lukaku has scored 10 or more league goals for the past nine seasons

    Lukaku joined Chelsea from Anderlecht for £18m in August 2011, but played only 15 games before leaving for Everton for a then-club record £28m three years later.

    During his time at Chelsea, he also enjoyed successful loan spells with West Brom and the Toffees, and has since played for Manchester United and most recently Inter Milan in moves costing £75m and £74m.

    Goals have come regularly throughout, but Inter's recent Serie A title was his first trophy since the 2010 Belgian league with Anderlecht, the season he won the golden boot as a 16-year-old.

    Since 2012-13, only six players have scored 10 or more league goals each season in Europe's top five leagues – Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Luis Suarez, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lukaku.

    During Euro 2020, Lukaku said: "When people talk about Lewandowski, [Karim] Benzema or [Harry] Kane, they call them world class.

    "But when it comes to me, it's just considered good form. That motivates me to work harder and get stronger.

    "I belong in that list of world-class players."

    A different Lukaku?

    Lukaku returns to the Premier League a different player to the one who left Old Trafford two years ago.

    Belgium boss Roberto Martinez is uniquely positioned to judge him, having signed the frontman at Everton and managed him at international level for the past five years.

    Martinez said in June: "He was born with this capacity for scoring goals.

    "What we're talking about now, however, is a different player. Now we're talking about a player that, on top of his individual talent, has a real degree of maturity.

    "These days he's a completely different human being and a different footballer. He can affect others."

    Only three players scored 20 or more goals and had 10 or more assists in Europe's top five leagues last season – Kane, Lukaku and Memphis Depay.

    His 11 assists was four more than his previous best during his first season at United.

    Conte left his role as Inter boss this summer after leading them to the Scudetto.

    The former Chelsea boss told L'Equipe: "Romelu is one of the best strikers in the world.

    "He always had immense physical and athletic qualities, but during the two years together we saw him grow even more in terms of presence on the pitch, teamwork, and composure in front of goal."

    BBC Sport pundit Pat Nevin, a former Chelsea winger, added: "The question mark with Lukaku, when he was at Everton and Manchester United, used to be his work-rate off the ball, and was it as good as it should have been?

    "That was a perfectly reasonable question to ask because at Everton you had nine guys working their socks off and one guy standing up there.

    "But I have heard various reports about Lukaku at Inter and watched him – and he has adapted."

    Was Lukaku judged harshly in England?

    Top 10 Premier League goalscorers since 2012-13 - Romelu Lukaku is fourthRomelu Lukaku is the Premier League's fourth top goalscorer since his first goal in the league – despite having spent the past two seasons in Italy

    Lukaku was only the fourth player to score 80 goals in the Premier League before turning 24 – after Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler and Wayne Rooney. Those goals all came for West Brom and Everton, having failed to score for Chelsea.

    That was also after scoring 33 Belgian top-flight goals for Anderlecht, including winning the Golden Boot at the age of 16 in 2009-10.

    In his debut season, Lukaku became one of only 11 Manchester United players to hit 25 goals or more in a campaign since 1992-93. Eric Cantona, Andy Cole and current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (25 each) are among the strikers who never matched Lukaku's 27-goal tally in a United campaign.

    He is the 20th top scorer of all time in the Premier League with 113 goals, from only seven seasons of regular football in England.

    Former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton said: "He is a proven Premier League goalscorer. That is what Chelsea wanted, that reliability, and Lukaku will provide that. He is going to score a lot of goals for them."

    The Athletic's Italian football writer James Horncastle told BBC Radio 5 Live's Football Daily: "He comes back in his absolute peak and I don't think it is hyperbole to say he is in the top five strikers in the world.

    "He took a league that was Ronaldo's and made it his own. No ordinary striker does that, it is an extraordinary feat. He has become the King of Milan – a city he shares with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. What does he have to prove? It's a slam dunk for Chelsea."

    Why do Chelsea need Lukaku?

    Expected goals v actual goals of last season's top seven
    Club Goals Expected goals Goals compared to xG
    Manchester City 83 68.91 +14.09
    Manchester United 73 60.86 +12.14
    Liverpool 68 68.36 -0.36
    Chelsea 58 62.92 -4.92
    Leicester 68 56.1 +11.9
    West Ham 62 56.72 +5.28
    Tottenham 68 53.77 +14.23

    Chelsea had the second-best defensive record in the Premier League last season – with 36 goals conceded to Manchester City's 32. But they had the best record by far, from the moment Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard in January.

    They only let in 13 goals in their final 19 Premier League games – and 16 in 31 games in all competitions under the German.

    Their goalscoring was the big issue. Jorginho was their top league scorer with seven goals – all penalties. That made him the Blues' lowest-scoring top scorer in a top-flight campaign since 1974-75.

    In all competitions Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner, last year's big-money striker signing, were joint top scorers with 12.

    Chelsea's 58 Premier League goals were 25 fewer than champions City and seven teams scored more than the Blues.

    In terms of expected goals, the Opta metric – that judges how many you should score from chances – showed only City and Liverpool ranked above Chelsea's 62.92.

    Werner's 11.45 xG was the 15th highest in the Premier League – but 49 players scored more than his six goals.

    Despite that Chelsea still beat Manchester City all three times they met after Tuchel's appointment – including in the Champions League final – so how far could they go with a proven scorer?

    Sutton added: "If there was a criticism of Chelsea last season, it was that they possibly weren't ruthless enough and now they have a guy in who is an absolute glutton for goals.

    "If Kane goes to Manchester City I would fancy them for the title but, if he doesn't, then Lukaku going to Chelsea could make the difference for them. I really think they could nick it."

    Nevin said: "The depth Chelsea have got in their squad is scary, even before Lukaku arrived.

    "I am not sure he will play every single game, which seems odd for a guy who is costing that much money, and I am intrigued to see if he fits in style-wise with what Tuchel wants, because he wants work-rate.

    "But then Tuchel has experience dealing with Neymar and [Kylian] Mbappe at PSG, so he knows how to deal with the big stars and to get that out of them."

    Banner image reading "Be ready for the new season"

    • Get news and features about your favourite team direct to your phone with the BBC Sport App's Premier League club news notifications, along with line-ups, latest scores and results. Download the App here: Appleexternal-linkAndroidexternal-linkAmazon.external-link
    • Notifications, Live Guide, social media and more with BBC Sport

    BBC Sport footercommentsView Comments414

    READ:  Chelsea discover Club World Cup route

    Comments

    Join the conversation

    To use comments you will need to have JavaScript enabled.
    414 commentsShowLatestOldestHighest RatedMost Replied

    • M

      Comment posted by Mick, today at 09:36

      Sold for £27 million and bought back for £97.5 million. I’m trying to work out a way of doing business with Chelsea.515

      • J

        Reply posted by jambotheonly, today at 09:47

        "Sold for £27 million and bought back for £97.5 million. I’m trying to work out a way of doing business with Chelsea."jambotheonly replied: Not as bad as United with Pogba to be fair429

      More replies (19)

    • R

      Comment posted by RogueTraders, today at 10:22

      Anyone who has spent time at United needs time to lose the high level of arrogance they gain there, and also time to regain their footballing ability.

      It can take time, but he got there quickly after leaving to go to Italy.3811

      • U

        Reply posted by Unknown User, today at 10:26

        "Anyone who has spent time at United needs time to lose the high level of arrogance they gain there, and also time to regain their footballing ability. It can take time, but he got there quickly after leaving to go to Italy."Unknown User replied: Why is it impossible for for this website to have a HYS without people posting silly comments about United2429

      More replies (7)

    • M

      Comment posted by MattySW, today at 10:58

      Chelsea need to start having faith in some of their players – Lukaku, De Bruyne, Salah….all let go before they were given a decent chance. Now Abraham, Hudson-Odoi……same old, same old…..will Werner and Havertz be there next season??

      What are the odds on Abraham being sold then bought back for 5x the price?182

      • T

        Reply posted by TheSardinian, today at 11:09

        "Chelsea need to start having faith in some of their players – Lukaku, De Bruyne, Salah….all let go before they were given a decent chance. Now Abraham, Hudson-Odoi……same old, same old…..will Werner and Havertz be there next season?? What are the odds on Abraham being sold then bought back for 5x the price?"TheSardinian replied: You didnt mention Mason Mount/Reece James? Academy players since 8 yrs old, integral players and starters in the CL final victory. Doesn’t fit your narrative though. Werner needs a good season, Havertz will be the star of this team for a decade…superstar in the making. Of those you mention, KDB was the big error. Lukaku and Salah had better players in their way at the time and needed to move1212

      More replies (23)

    • A

      Comment posted by a funny old game, today at 09:55

      Roman thinks he’s worth it ,it’s his money end of.193

      • Removed comment

      More replies (8)

    • C

      Comment posted by Cactus, today at 09:41

      He has got financially better173

      • O

        Reply posted by Old Dog, today at 12:43

        "He has got financially better"Old Dog replied: In what way? Laundering dirty money to make it clean? That fall fouls of AMLR61

      More replies (1)

    • M

      Comment posted by mal123, today at 09:45

      To think Mo Salah only cost £34million and he was another Chelsea let go!142

      • M

        Reply posted by manvw, today at 10:15

        "To think Mo Salah only cost £34million and he was another Chelsea let go!"manvw replied: Add de Bruyne to those names. Thanks Jose!!!220

      More replies (8)

    • C

      Comment posted by chapper1, today at 09:30

      I’m a huge football fan, but this epitomises how disgusting football is. The world is still recovering from a pandemic that hit millions.
      Football was furloughing / laying off staff left right & centre.
      And yet FFP still sees a club that spent 100’s of millions on questionable foreign players last year splash out another £100M on a player that has, at best, been a flat track bully in the PL,3019

      • M

        Reply posted by MrRonin, today at 09:38

        "I’m a huge football fan, but this epitomises how disgusting football is. The world is still recovering from a pandemic that hit millions. Football was furloughing / laying off staff left right & centre. And yet FFP still sees a club that spent 100’s of millions on questionable foreign players last year splash out another £100M on a player that has, at best, been a flat track bully in the PL,"MrRonin replied: Yawn 🥱2221

      More replies (15)

    • O

      Comment posted by Old Dog, today at 09:55

      Frankly, who cares about Lukaku! They are all mercenaries!
      Look a Messi, all tears after 21 years and £100 plus million per year, then all smiles 3 days later and £50 plus million per year, plus £20 million signing on fee.
      If he loved Barca that much he should have played for nothing, after all he doesn’t need the money.
      Must go, I need to find the sick bucket!…3323

      • S

        Reply posted by Summers , today at 09:57

        "Frankly, who cares about Lukaku! They are all mercenaries!Look a Messi, all tears after 21 years and £100 plus million per year, then all smiles 3 days later and £50 plus million per year, plus £20 million signing on fee.If he loved Barca that much he should have played for nothing, after all he doesn’t need the money. Must go, I need to find the sick bucket!…"Summers replied: I thought that about Messi, but upon further reading he couldn’t play for nowt, legally cant take more than a 50% pay cut301

      More replies (11)

    • M

      Comment posted by MrBlueBurns, today at 10:59

      The amount of ignorance around the finances of football is amazing really. Journo’s could actually explain things but they prefer to get clicks from the unenlightened.90

      • L

        Reply posted by LondonsFinestClub, today at 15:02

        "The amount of ignorance around the finances of football is amazing really. Journo’s could actually explain things but they prefer to get clicks from the unenlightened."LondonsFinestClub replied: I think what people fail to realise is that Chelsea have already made 55m from transfers this season and Zouma and Abraham would bring in another 60m not mention a few others who could add 30 or 40m. Yes last season Chelsea net spend was 17o m in red but Hazard money almost covered that. Chelsea net spend is pretty decent over past 5 seasons which has brought a UEFA cup, league title and CL/SC20

      More replies (1)

    • M

      Comment posted by MattySW, today at 10:26

      He’s always been good and had loads of potential 10 years ago, it’s just that Chelsea’s policy was to buy instant success and they weren’t prepared to give him a chance.82

      • L

        Reply posted by LondonsFinestClub, today at 15:07

        "He’s always been good and had loads of potential 10 years ago, it’s just that Chelsea’s policy was to buy instant success and they weren’t prepared to give him a chance."LondonsFinestClub replied: Tommy Tickle is a different ball game, resurrected Rudiger, Christensen and has brought Mount and James on leaps. He is a decent fella and knows what he needs. I agree mistakes have been made but our academy has produced and is producing a fleet of very decent EPL. Players.10

    • D

      Comment posted by DrCajetanCoelho, today at 10:55

      He can kick hard. When on the run, he is dangerous. Romelu Lukaku will do well at Chelsea. All the best to the dazzling striker.72

      • A

        Reply posted by Anon2021, today at 13:52

        "He can kick hard. When on the run, he is dangerous. Romelu Lukaku will do well at Chelsea. All the best to the dazzling striker."Anon2021 replied: Cap00

    • A

      Comment posted by Alan, today at 15:09

      Vulgar amount to pay for a 28 year old – another costly blunder by Jose!

      I’m not so sure he will be top drawer in the PL – always seemed to go missing in the big games – he’ll need to score 25+ Pl goals to justify this fee – not convinced he will get anywhere near – we’ll see.62

      • L

        Reply posted by LondonsFinestClub, today at 15:19

        "Vulgar amount to pay for a 28 year old – another costly blunder by Jose! I’m not so sure he will be top drawer in the PL – always seemed to go missing in the big games – he’ll need to score 25+ Pl goals to justify this fee – not convinced he will get anywhere near – we’ll see."LondonsFinestClub replied: Again prophets of hopeful doom emerge to cast dark shadows. CL/SC doesn’t even dissuade you. Tuchel driving the bus now.36

      More replies (15)

    • I

      Comment posted by I didnt do it, today at 11:03

      Chelsea will need to address the notorious “Lukaku problem” if they are to mount a serious challenge.

      Ten grafters plus a low-workrate, goal-hanging statue is not inducive to EPL success.73

      • T

        Reply posted by TheSardinian, today at 11:05

        "Chelsea will need to address the notorious “Lukaku problem” if they are to mount a serious challenge.Ten grafters plus a low-workrate, goal-hanging statue is not inducive to EPL success."TheSardinian replied: You think he got away with not grafting for 2 seasons in a Conte team? You clearly havent watched him at Inter66

      More replies (1)

    • M

      Comment posted by Mebele, today at 09:40

      Lukaku is the signing Chelsea need and a great addition back to the PL. Imagine if Werner had scored 25 goals last season. How much difference that would have made. How much draws and loses could have turned to wins. Chelsea are creating the chances easily and Lukaku is a reliable pointman to put them in. That is all that matters.62

    • O

      Comment posted by Oddbod, today at 20:37

      Abramovich’s scattergun approach buying anything with a mega-price tag is bound to fail eventually.
      Haaland,Messi & Lewandowski all rejected Abramovich’s advances. So he splurged on Lukaku as an expensive last resort!
      Chavski have scraped a top four place for more than a few seasons now.
      Leicester to edge them out this season.30

      • M

        Reply posted by manvw, today at 21:18

        "Abramovich’s scattergun approach buying anything with a mega-price tag is bound to fail eventually.Haaland,Messi & Lewandowski all rejected Abramovich’s advances. So he splurged on Lukaku as an expensive last resort! Chavski have scraped a top four place for more than a few seasons now.Leicester to edge them out this season."manvw replied: We’re just double checking this comment.

    • B

      Comment posted by boris the liability with lie ability, today at 13:24

      is he a better player now?
      well his wallet is fuller now!30

      • M

        Reply posted by Martarslipstick, today at 13:29

        "is he a better player now?well his wallet is fuller now!"Martarslipstick replied: Looking at the photo from 2011 and the recent photo- It’s not just his wallet which is fuller!50

      More replies (1)

    • B

      Comment posted by BlueFox, today at 13:05

      I’m sure he will turn out fine for Chelsea and they will challenge for trophies, but what I really hope for the sake of football is the likes of Brentford and Norwich take points of Chelsea just to prove that money can’t buy everything52

      • N

        Reply posted by Nik, today at 13:11

        "I’m sure he will turn out fine for Chelsea and they will challenge for trophies, but what I really hope for the sake of football is the likes of Brentford and Norwich take points of Chelsea just to prove that money can’t buy everything"Nik replied: Couldn’t agree more.

        Hopefully, Brentford beat Arsenal.

        It wouldn’t be a shock, the Gunners can’t defend.

        Good luck to every team who haven’t the buying power.11

      More replies (3)

    • W

      Comment posted by William, today at 12:26

      Still a donkey74

      • Removed comment

      More replies (4)

    • T

      Comment posted by The Beautiful Game, today at 12:06

      Can trap a ball further than most can kick it !!!!63

      • T

        Reply posted by TheSardinian, today at 12:08

        "Can trap a ball further than most can kick it !!!!"TheSardinian replied: Another who hasnt watched him over the last 2 seasons then…lazy,boring comment211

      More replies (11)

    • A

      Comment posted by Aziz Kirumira, today at 11:40

      This is an excellent signing for Chelsea! He should bang the goals in this season.52

    More commentsBack to top

    Source

    READ:  The love for Ranieri was relentless - but what next for Leicester & Rodgers?
    Football
    Putellas wins Women’s Ballon d’Or

    Barcelona captain Alexia Putellas won the Women's Ballon d'Or, awarded to the best female footballer in 2021. Putellas, 27, scored as Barca beat Chelsea 4-0 …

    Other
    The ex-DJ aiming for Jamaican history

    Benjamin Alexander: The former DJ hoping to ski for Jamaica at the Winter Olympics Benjamin Alexander's story tells of a life well lived. Born in …

    Football
    Chelsea discover Club World Cup route

    Chelsea qualified for the Fifa Club World Cup by beating Manchester City in the Champions League final European champions Chelsea will play Al Hilal, Al …

    Subscribe
    Notify of
    guest
    0 Comments
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments
    August 13, 2021
      Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
      Scroll to Top
      • Bookmakers Bonus
      Fonbet

      Registration bonus up to 250 Euro!

      Winmasters
      Parimatch
      0
      Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
      ()
      x
      This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.