Why Lukaku's return is a good thing for Chelsea

Romelu Lukaku will return to Chelsea

PREMIER LEAGUE Why Lukaku's return is a good thing for Chelsea

Tunde Young 16:57 - 15.03.2023
Romelu Lukaku is set to return to Chelsea after his loan spell at Inter and here is why it is a good idea

Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku will return to his parent club Chelsea after his loan spell with Inter Milan expires at the end of the season.

Lukaku had publicly expressed his desire to remain on the books of Inter but club CEO Beppe Marotta countered that with a statement confirming that the striker would return to Chelsea.

Marotta's words have been met with negativity from Chelsea fans as a result of Lukaku's horribly poor 2021/22 season at the club but here are some reasons his return to Stamford Bridge may not be a bad idea.

Lukaku deserves one more chance

Chelsea paid a club-record £97 million fee to sign Lukaku from Inter Milan in the summer of 2021, making him the second-most expensive Premier League player ever at the time, now third behind Jack Grealish and Enzo Fernandez.

Romelu Lukaku joined Chelsea in 2021 from Inter Milan for a club-record fee
Romelu Lukaku joined Chelsea in 2021 from Inter Milan for a club-record fee

The Belgian joined off the back of 64 goals in 95 games across two seasons in Milan which built up anticipation for his second coming to Stamford Bridge but he would significantly underperform and damage his relationship with the fans of the club instead.

As the saying goes, "once beaten, twice shy" but Chelsea have now been bitten twice by Lukaku but that should not deter them from giving the Belgian a third chance if he wants it.

The main reason Chelsea should welcome a Lukaku return is his quality, with 347 career goals in 685 games and counting, he is doubtless a quality centre forward which is why they paid just shy of a 100 million pounds to sign him in the first place.

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Considering that the club still has not solved the centre-forward problem for which Lukaku was signed in the first place, the big Belgian may yet remain the solution.

Keeping Lukaku makes sense financially

The Todd Boehly-led Chelsea board met Lukaku at the club as he was an Abramovich investment but the Americans have proven to be even more extravagant in the transfer window than the previous owners.

Boehly and his team have spent well over £600 million in just two transfer windows and still somehow failed to address the striking issue at the club.

Chelsea majority shareholder Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali
Chelsea majority shareholder Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali

This means Chelsea can be expected to enter the summer 2023 market in search of an elite centre-forward and those do not come cheap.

So why not just focus on maximising the elite and expensive striker they already have, especially since Lukaku still has three years left on his contract at the club.

It only makes sense to move Lukaku on if Chelsea are able to recoup a considerable amount of his transfer fee back which is unlikely as no team would pay that much for him at the moment.

Romelu Lukaku had a torrid spell at Chelsea
Romelu Lukaku had a torrid spell at Chelsea

Seeing as life has given Chelsea some Belgian lemons, it is advisable to take that and make some lemonade, anything else would be a monumental waste of resources.

New beginnings for Lukaku and Chelsea

Lukaku's 2021/22 season at Chelsea did not go according to plan for many reasons, chief of which was his own big mouth.

Many a Chelsea flop have done much worse than Lukaku's 15 goals in 44 games across all competitions but none of the previous flops lacked the self-awareness to publicly fantasise about returning to their former clubs just months after getting signed for a club-record fee.

Chelsea fans can handle a flop (they have witnessed so many) but disloyalty is where they draw the line and there is no doubt anti-Lukaku sentiments would not be this high if he had not done that ill-advised interview about Inter Milan while actively underperforming for Chelsea.

Lukaku also had a rocky relationship with Chelsea manager at the time, Thomas Tuchel which he hinted in the interview and that much was obvious on the pitch that season as well.

Tuchel's control-oriented football was the direct opposite of the counter-attacking style in which Lukaku thrived at Inter, the football at Chelsea was too static and the club did not have elite creators to find his limited runs like Kevin De Bruyne does at national team level.

Kevin De Bruyne knows how to find Romelu Lukaku easily
Kevin De Bruyne knows how to find Romelu Lukaku easily

All of that is in the past now, Chelsea have new owners, a new coach in Graham Potter with a different style and better players in the team.

Lukaku joining this current Chelsea team would be the cherry on top of Potter's cake, the striker Enzo Fernandez's long passes deserve.

This is a rare opportunity for a clean slate if both sides can put the petty issues of the past behind them and focus on what could be a glorious future ahead, it is all water under the Stamford Bridge.

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