There’s a certain style that some managers like. Some players just fit, others less so. This is why when a new man moves into the hot seat at any of the top European clubs, not only is there an inflow and outflow of players, but others, previously side-lined, get their chance to shine. It is therefore no surprise that Chelsea’s summer transfer targets may have been a little derailed by Jose Mourinho’s reported declaration that Romalu Lukaku will form the cutting edge of his attack in his second coming as head honcho at Chelsea.
Since the young Belgian signed for the club, the similarity of physique and style, as compared to the Ivorian Chelsea legend, was obvious. Possessing the build of a heavyweight, with the pace of a 100 metre sprinter and no little ability to match, Lukaku seemed to be the very embodiment of a modern day Premier League striker. His time on loan to West Bromwich Albion this season can only have enhanced that feeling, as his bustling all-action style endeared him to the Hawthorns faithful. Now, however, with the return of the ‘special One’ apparently imminent, a return to his parent club is clearly on the cards.
Mourinho is nothing if not adaptable, and is very much a ‘horses for courses’ sort of a coach. His style of play will be moulded to fit the environment in which is team is competing. Hence it is easy to discern the format of his teams at Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. This is no ‘one size fits all’ coach. Every team is ‘made to measure’ and there’s no reason to expect a change of emphasis if - or should I say, when – he returns to Stamford Bridge.
The Premier league should therefore take note that Mourinho intends to build his new Chelsea very much in the image of his successful team of the past, and if these rumours are to be believed Lukaku will form a fundamental part of the blueprint. Give Chelsea fans the option of picking a player that they could have again, only as a 20 year old, with ten years of development ahead of them, and many would plump for Sardinian magician Gianfranco Zola, others may go for record goalscorer Frank Lampard. If you offered them a young 20 year old Didier Drogba however, bursting with pace, power and energy, very few would say “no thanks.” Next season the young Lukaku may just have the opportunity to show why that would be so very wise.