Against the popular opinion of many Chelsea FC fans, I believe that Romelu Lukaku deserves a second chance to prove himself at Stamford Bridge.
The Belgian striker was sold to Everton in the summer that saw Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas come to West London. This was to the obvious frustration of many people around the Blues organization.
In retrospect, it may have been one of the factors that cost Jose Mourinho his job. The Portuguese manager was reportedly questioned about the curious sale of the Belgian during the meeting where the two parties parted ways.
The main issue the first time around with Lukaku was that the 23-year-old wanted to start and the Blues had just purchased Diego Costa who was going to command the single striker role.
In Mourinho’s preferred system, there was need for only 1 starting striker and the Belgian was not comfortable playing second fiddle to the Spaniard.
That being said, Lukaku has gone on to flourish at Goodison Park. He is showing signs of progress and growth that wouldn’t have happened had he stayed at Stamford Bridge.
However, it’s time for the Belgian to attempt a new challenge. Chelsea would represent that challenge.
But why would Lukaku in West London work this time around, when the last time failed so miserably?
Namely, the change in manager is a large part of it, not in terms of relationship, but in terms of style. Jose Mourinho and Lukaku actually had a working partnership. The issue was that Lukaku wanted to play and the Portuguese tactician could not offer that.
Mourinho understood the Belgian’s ambitions and sanctioned his move. There was no intention to bring him back, which means there wasn’t a buy back clause implemented in the sale.
However, if Chelsea could bring him back to Stamford Bridge, Lukaku would flourish. This is for several reasons.
First, it looks as though Conte is primed to play with two strikers. Therefore, Lukaku would now demand the starting place he craved the first time around.
Furthermore, Lukaku and Diego Costa would complement each other up top. While Costa normally checks back, runs the channels, etc, Lukaku plays well on the shoulder of defenders.
His blistering pace, coupled with his elite finishing qualities would likely see him reach double digits in his goal tally next season.
It’s important to point out that this evaluation of Lukaku is mostly based on his performances at Everton. We’ve yet to seen the Belgian too often in a Chelsea shirt.
What this means is that we’d expect the Belgian to be even more successful. This can be attributed to the service he would likely receive from players of Fabregas and Hazard’s quality. These talents go unreplicated in the Toffees squad.
With stronger service, a better strike partner and more to achieve at Stamford Bridge, Lukaku would flourish in his second coming in West London.
Next season, Chelsea have something to prove. They must convince everyone that last year was a blip and not the beginning of a pattern.
Similarly, Lukaku has something to prove at Stamford Bridge. He must illustrate that he always had the quality to succeed in West London.
Both Chelsea and Lukaku’s paths have aligned. Put them together and the results should be nothing but success.