Chelsea Transfer News: Romelu Lukaku's Loan a Great Step in Striker's Evolution
Having lit up the Premier League on loan with West Brom last season, there was some debate as to whether Romelu Lukaku was better off being farmed out once more this term.
The notion had emerged that the young Belgian international, signed for a fee in the region of £10 million (rising to £18 million) had done enough to warrant his inclusion in the Chelsea first team, especially given that confidence isn't exactly brimming with Fernando Torres and Demba Ba.
However, what that equation didn't take into account was the Stamford Bridge arrival of Samuel Eto'o, which now makes Lukaku's deadline day loan move to Everton the savviest choice.
Given the challenge for European football that Steve Clarke's men posed last term, one might be tempted to say there's not too much of a difference between the chances on offer between West Brom and Everton.
However, Roberto Martinez's side could well pan out to be the optimum choice given the discontent among its strike force right now.
Were Chelsea right to send Lukaku out on loan?
Having scored just two goals so far this season thanks to defender Seamus Coleman and midfielder Ross Barkley, the attacking ranks at Goodison Park aren't exactly flourishing.
Nikica Jelavic has continued his flagging form from last season and isn't the same prolific presence he was upon arriving on Merseyside, while Arouna Kone hasn't yet been given the minutes to really test himself.
So, with Victor Anichebe having been sold to the Baggies (presumably after a second deal for Lukaku couldn't be agreed upon), competition looks to be in Lukaku's favour.
The 20-year-old is set to become the central focus of the club's attack, just as he was at the Hawthorns last season but this time with superior ammunition coming his way.
One man who's evidently pleased with the temporary deal is Lukaku's international teammate, Kevin Mirallas, who, via Everton's official Twitter account, noted the hand he played in the deal:
Mirallas: "I was surprised to learn we were in for Lukaku, because there had been no inkling, but once I got word, I really went to work."— Official Everton (@Everton) September 4, 2013
With Mirallas on one wing, Steven Pienaar on the other and not to mention the supply that Leighton Baines and Coleman will undoubtedly provide, Lukaku will have chances coming from all angles.
Last term, the lack of a reliable goalscoring threat was arguably the missing link under David Moyes, with Anichebe actually proving the most consistent striker.
While Lukuka may be extremely talented for one so young, it's easy to forget that he's still in the early stages of his development, a stage where playing time is essential and something he wouldn't be able to guarantee with his parent club.
Benefitting both Everton and Chelsea in kind, the forward will return to West London next summer a stronger, more rounded and more mature asset than ever before.
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