Chelsea Transfer News: Romelu Lukaku Exit a Big Mistake by Jose Mourinho
Lukaku, 20, had originally been expected to be a member of the first-team squad at Stamford Bridge this campaign, but he has not been afforded a starting role in the opening matches of the season.
With Samuel Eto'o arriving from Anzhi last week, it was clear that a striker would need to depart Stamford Bridge on deadline day. The surprise, though, was that it was Lukaku, rather than Demba Ba, who would eventually move on.
Chelsea will no doubt insist that Lukaku needs regular playing time and that, with them unable to guarantee him that this campaign, a loan move was the best option.
In the eyes of many supporters, though, the Belgian should have been handed more opportunities to impress. That a player who scored 17 Premier League goals last season should receive only 62 minutes of playing time so far this campaign is pretty unbelievable.
Suspect #cfc might regret loaning out Lukaku. Unlike Ba, Torres & Eto'o, he'd have been well suited to coming off bench and happy to do so— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) September 3, 2013
The signing of Eto'o was a clear indication that neither Fernando Torres nor Ba is trusted to lead the line for Jose Mourinho's side over the course of a campaign. Why, then, was Lukaku—who outscored both last season—not even tested in the opening games of the season?
Since early June, per John Edwards of the Daily Mail, Chelsea and Jose Mourinho's mantra has been that the Belgian striker would not be leaving. Lukaku, who forced a loan move last year in frustration at a lack of opportunity, per ESPN, was led to believe he would be involved. It has not been the case.
Wonder how many people would have thought Everton could land Deloufeu and Lukaku before the window opened. Quality work by Roberto Martinez— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) September 2, 2013
A move to Everton, then, is undoubtedly the best thing for the player at present, who is probably feeling a little confused about his treatment at Stamford Bridge. He needs to focus on his own career once more, as he did at West Brom, and not worry about the latest whims of the Chelsea management.
For the Blues, though, loaning Lukaku will prove to be a major mistake. He is easily capable of hitting the 20-goal mark this season, having only started 20 of West Brom's league fixtures last year. It is a scoring rate that places him among some of the league's very best strikers.
Should Lukaku be Chelsea's No. 9?
Were Eto'o to fail to settle in England, Chelsea would have a concern. Relying on either Torres or Ba is not ideal for a club with their ambitions and, having allowed Lukaku to leave, few would have any sympathy for their plight.
Indeed, it would be very easy to suggest that Lukaku will be the top-scoring Chelsea striker in the Premier League once more this season. Should he do so, there will surely be much soul-searching in West London.
Chelsea have an incredible talent on their hands but are struggling to get the best out of it at present. With Lukaku it is a simple equation—play him, and he will score. Chelsea, though, are failing to even afford him that opportunity. It is a decision they will come to regret.
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