Following a rebuffed initial bid for Lukaku from Inter Milan, Chelsea are reportedly ready to go all in for the Belgian star once again after talks to sign Borussia Dortmund’s striker Erling Haaland stalled.
Dortmund reportedly rejected Chelsea’s €130m bid for Erling Haaland as they valued the Norwegian at €175m. However, with Dortmund refusing to sell Erling Haaland to Chelsea despite the gigantic offer, they risk losing him next summer for just a sum of €75m.
This isn’t the first time Dortmund will be exhibiting such a deal as they opted to keep Lewandowski despite having just a year left on his contract and losing him on a free basis to Bundesliga giant Bayern Munich the following summer, back in 2014.
Dortmund’s reluctance made Chelsea switch their focus to Romelu Lukaku as it was reported that Romelu Lukaku was always Chelsea’s second choice.
Inter Milan rejected Chelsea’s first bid for Romelu Lukaku. Chelsea offered Inter €100m plus Marcos Alonso but it wasn’t enough to convince Beppe Marotta to sell the highly rated Nerazzurri striker.
However, there is optimism in both Lukaku and Chelsea’s camp that Inter Milan will accept Chelsea’s new offer as Chelsea are reportedly planning to launch a new bid of £100m – £110m (€120m – €130m) according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano.
Personal terms between Chelsea and Romelu Lukaku are already agreed as Lukaku is set to earn a whooping sum of £196,000 on weekly basis if he completes a move to Chelsea.
Since the departure of Diego Costa to Atletico Madrid, Chelsea have struggled to find players to fill his shoes as Alvaro Morata who replaced him was loaned out to Atletico Madrid in the winter transfer window of 2019 before he was permanently sold to them (Atletico Madrid) following couples of misses and profligacy exhibited by the Spainiard at Chelsea.
Gonzalo Higuain who was signed on loan from Juventus to fill the void left by Alvaro Morata didn’t live up to the hype as he only managed to score five goals in 14 league outings.
Chelsea however opted out of signing the Argentine on a permanent basis despite having a transfer embargo looming on their heads the upcoming season.
The closest Chelsea striker to replicate Costa’s form to a certain level was Tammy Abraham who managed to score 15 league goals in 34 league appearances for Chelsea back in 2019/2020.
Olivier Giroud has been vital for Chelsea on many occasions as he masterminded Chelsea’s Europa League victory back in 2018/19. Giroud also led Chelsea to a top four finish as he performed brilliantly after the resumption of the Premier League following coronavirus lockdown in 2019/2020 season campaign.
However, Giroud was far from convincing as he also displayed inconsistency on several occasions.
Chelsea’s lack of firepower upfront seems to have ended when Chelsea agreed a deal to sign German star Timo Werner following his impressive performance for Leipzig back in 2019/2020. Werner scored 28 Bundesliga goals in 34 games for RB Leipzig.
However, Timo Werner failed to replicate his form on getting to Chelsea as he only managed to score six league goals for the European Champions in 35 appearances.
Despite Chelsea’s high transfer activity in the summer of 2020, they are ready to break the bank for the acquisition of a new striker following a couple of disappointments in the just concluded season and it seems the Premier League giants have finally gotten the perfect man for the job in Romelu Lukaku.
Romelu Lukaku’s style of play
Romelu Lukaku is known for his strength, pace and physicality. Lukaku avails these properties to himself on the pitch to beat his opponents.
However, despite standing at 6 feet 3 inches tall (1.90m/190cm), Lukaku’s favoured role is not as a Target-man in the centre but as a poacher.
Lukaku is known for his fantastic link-up play, positioning and off-ball runs to create space for his teammates. This particular attribute suits Timo Werner well as he prefers to attack spaces left by opposition teams.
How has Lukaku fared in the Premier League?
Romelu Lukaku had spells in several clubs in the Premier League before moving to Inter Milan in the summer transfer window of 2019/2020. It is however important to know how he fared during his stints in the Premier League.
Chelsea signed Lukaku up from Anderlecht back in 2011 for a reported fee of €12 million (£10 million), rising to €20 million (£17 million) in add-ons.
However, his stint at Chelsea was one to forget as he appeared 15 times across all competitions and failed to score a single goal for the club.
During Lukaku’s stint at Chelsea, he was loaned to West Bromwich Albion where he performed well and was also loaned to Everton before Chelsea sold him outrightly (to Everton).
Over Lukaku’s five season spell in the Premier League following his permanent move to Everton, he failed to score up to 20 goals across all competitions in only one season which was his final one at Manchester United. He struggled for game time under the management of Jose Mourinho and his successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
During Lukaku’s nine season stay in the Premier League, representing Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion, Everton and Manchester United, he managed to score a total of 129 goals in 277 appearances across all competitions.
Haaland or Lukaku?
This question has caused a lot of division between fans and pundits alike as some believe Haaland is the real deal while others think Lukaku is a better fit for Chelsea.
However, statistically, in the just concluded 2020/2021 season, Romelu Lukaku managed to rack up to 24 goals in 36 appearances for Inter Milan in the league while Erling Haaland managed to score 27 goals in 28 outings in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund (winning him the Bundesliga player of the season) which means Haaland edges Lukaku when it comes to scoring goals.
Although, there is more to this comparison than just scoring goals as there is a reason Timo Werner scored up to 28 goals in his final season in the Bundesliga and failed to rack up 10 goals in his debut season in the Premier League.
Bundesliga comprises teams that majorly play with a high line. This affords Bundesliga strikers spaces to run into unlike the Premier League where most of the team plays low-block and expect to hit the opposing team on a counter.
Romelu Lukaku is used to this system as he is the kind of player that knows how to deal in crowded spaces and uses his off ball runs to break low blocks and afford space for teammates. Werner can benefit from this as seen with his partnership with Poulsen during his days at Leipzig.
Asides finishing, Lukaku compliments linking up players around him well as he possesses the ability to find an advancing teammate like he regularly did with Achraf Hakimi.
With Thomas Tuchel opting to use 3-4-3, the likes of Reece James and Benjamin Chilwell will definitely benefit off Lukaku’s presence.
As for Erling Haaland, there are doubts he will be able to cope against England’s low blocks. Risking €175m on a player who you ain’t sure about his adaptation skills ain’t a good deal right?
One thing for sure is, Haaland is younger and will continue to improve on a daily basis. This connotes that Lukaku is one for the present, Haaland is one for the future. And Chelsea as a club relishes instant impact due to expectations surrounding the club from fans and pundits alike.
So for me, Lukaku suits Chelsea better than Haaland does.
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