Sending Lukaku on Loan Shows the High Hopes Mourinho Has for the Chelsea Striker
So, after all the build up and anticipation, transfer deadline day lived up to its billing with frantic player transfers across the Premier League and the rest of Europe ensuring it was a grueling day for anyone involved in football.
Where Chelsea were concerned, there had been mention in the Daily Mail that Demba Ba would be joining Arsenal on loan, but at the 11th hour—and quite literally, given the window closed at 11pm in the UK—it was Romelu Lukaku who eventually departed Stamford Bridge.
The young Belgian's move to Goodison Park was announced just as the window closed, with Lukaku himself confirming the move via Twitter.
Signed @Everton on a season loan :-)— R.Lukaku Bolingoli (@RomeluLukaku9) September 2, 2013
If Bleacher Report's message boards are the perfect barometer to judge the reaction of Chelsea fans to this bit of business, however, it's clear the Stamford Bridge faithful are disappointed.
They have good reason, too, yet beneath the surface, it's a transfer that will see player and club benefit.
Last season, Lukaku scored 17 goals while on loan at West Bromwich Albion, helping fire the Baggies to a top-10 finish. His promising campaign came on the back of a disappointing first year at Chelsea, where all the hype surrounding a £17 million move from Anderlecht seemed nothing more than hot air.
However, Lukaku said it himself in an interview with BBC Sport earlier this summer—he was just a kid when he joined Chelsea. "West Brom made me a man," he explained.
Given their low number of strikers in pre-season, with just Fernando Torres and Ba to call upon, Blues fans hoped this year would see Lukaku come of age in a blue shirt, repeating his Baggies exploits. Well, for now, they'll have to settle for watching him in Everton blue.
It's a wise move for the 20-year-old. He's barely out of his teens and, as his penalty miss against Bayern Munich in the Super Cup last week demonstrated, he's still not quite ready to carry the Blues' baton as the pursue silverware.
Had Ba joined Arsenal, Lukaku's chances of first-team football at Chelsea would have still been limited. He would have been third in line, behind Torres and summer arrival Samuel Eto'o.
Both players are seasoned professionals, have won everything possible in the game and their experience alone is currently worth more than Lukaku can offer Chelsea.
Throw into the equation Andre Schurrle's ability to lead the line on occasion, and it's clear Lukaku would have been some way down the pecking order.
Mourinho knows that, yet rather than watch this imposing Belgian wilt on the bench, he has given him the opportunity to make an impact elsewhere and remind us all just how good he can be.
Is Romelu Lukaku's loan to Everton a good move?
Sitting on the sidelines isn't going to do that, it's playing matches Lukaku needs.
His loan move to the North West isn't with Chelsea's season in mind. No, this is very much a temporary solution with the long-term in mind.
Mourinho adored Didier Drogba during his time at Chelsea. Lukaku has similar attributes to his idol, and in time, Mourinho knows he will be ready to emulate everything the Ivorian achieved at Chelsea.
Joining Everton is just another part of Lukaku's journey onto greatness.
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