Romelu Lukaku signed for Chelsea from Belgian side Anderlecht for a sum of around £10 million which could potentially rise to £17 million with add-ons. He struggled to find playing time, clocking up eight appearances and scoring no goals. He even refused to hold the European Cup after the Blues defeated Bayern Munich because ‘he didn’t feel like a winner.’
NAME: Romelu Lukaku
MARKET VALUE: £16,500,000
Speculation linked the Belgian forward with loan moves to various clubs but it was West Brom who acquired the powerful striker on a temporary basis.
Lukaku spearheaded West Brom’s push to their highest Premier League points tally under Steve Clarke. He surprised many as his rich veins of form left him sixth in the Premier League goal standings. Lukaku was also shortlisted for the PFA Young Player of the Year award alongside Belgian national team-mate Christian Benteke. Clarke was hailed for signing Lukaku as his 17 Premier League goals were the most scored by any player for the Baggies in their history. Despite being on loan from Chelsea, Lukaku out-scored all of his Chelsea team-mates.
But with his impressive loan spell completed, what does the future hold for Belgian?
People argue that Lukaku’s goal return merits a place in the Chelsea squad next season with strikers including Fernando Torres and Demba Ba being unable to match him for goals. His sheer desire to score and perform this season has shown and his determination to be a regular for Chelsea is evident. With interim manager Rafael Benitez departing, former manager Jose Mourinho is hot favourite to return to the helm at Stamford Bridge which could impact Lukaku’s future massively.
Mourinho would be given a large transfer budget with Roman Abramovich providing an everlasting flow of funds into the London Club and moves for top strikers such as Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani have been rumoured. If a transfer were to happen, it is unlikely that Lukaku would break into the starting eleven under the Portuguese tactician.
Another loan move is another possibility but the decision lies solely with Chelsea. Clubs are queuing up to take him on a loan spell after viewing the impact he made at the Hawthorns. West Ham are interested in adding Lukaku to partner the incoming Andy Carroll from Liverpool. However, Swansea are hoping that the lure of playing European football with the Swans next season can sway the striker to the Liberty Stadium to partner the as impressive Michu. West Brom are also monitoring his situation with a view to another deal.
Wherever Lukaku is playing his trade next season, it will be a joy to watch the young striker do what he does best. Scoring goals.