After a breakout year last season on loan at Goodison Park, 21-year-old Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku is hoping to make even bigger waves next season, and knows that can’t happen at Chelsea.
For some reason Jose Mourinho doesn’t rate Lukaku highly, despite scoring 15 times for Everton and establishing himself as one of the most dangerous physical threats up front in the Premier League.
And he wants no part of Chelsea’s merry-go-round at the striker position.
“You know Chelsea, every year they buy a new top striker,” Lukaku, with the Belgian national team, told reporters. “I remember me coming into the dressing room last year and seeing Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba and going, ‘Whoah! What’s happening here?'”
“But no problem. Many clubs are interested in me. At this stage, I have to look to myself. I have to play a good World Cup. That’s very interesting for all the players looking for a transfer. And I must be one of them. Chelsea know my point of view.”
With Diego Costa rumored to be on his way into Stamford Bridge shortly, it appears Mourinho has long been preparing for this to happen. Lukaku hinted at different points last season that he was fed up with how he was an outsider at Chelsea, and Mourinho never completely denied the accusations.
There will be no shortage of teams looking to get in on Lukaku’s services, as finding someone so young yet so established is extremely rare. In Mourinho’s time at Chelsea, he’s established his intentions of selling high-profile parts he deems excess to requirements for amazing value.
Since the manager’s arrival, the club has sold the likes of Juan Mata, Kevin de Bruyne, and David Luiz, netting nearly $170 million for a trio of players that were on the fringes of the squad at best.
If Mourinho could add Lukaku to that list for a significant fee, it would give the Blues serious spending power.
However, a sale of the Belgian would prove the most head-scratching of the four, given Chelsea’s struggles to get production from their frontmen last season. While Mourinho’s defensive style of play and midfield buildup strategy doesn’t lend itself to a striker, it’s still an area lacking on his roster.