Chelsea Making Mistake with Romelu Lukaku Loan Clause

Garry HayesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2013

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14:  Romelu Lukaku of Everton waves to the crowd prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on September 14, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

As Chelsea spluttered their way to victory over Fulham at the weekend, any Blues fans who caught a glimpse of Everton's win over West Ham United just a couple of hours earlier must have been cursing the day Romelu Lukaku moved on loan to the Toffees.

That Jose Mourinho would later reveal there is no recall clause in his loan deal (via Daily Mail) would have only acted to frustrate them even further with the young Belgian playing a starring role at Upton Park, scoring on his debut.

Indeed, with Lukaku officially an Everton player until May, it's a surprising revelation from the Blues given their current predicament when it comes to attacking options.

Mourinho has a plethora of midfielders to choose from this term, with the additions of Andre Schurrle and Willian this summer adding to an already congested attacking midfield area.

In front of the pair and their teammates Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Kevin De Bruyne and Oscar, however, Chelsea are thin on bodies.

Based on form from three years ago, a Fernando Torres-Samuel Eto'o partnership would have won Chelsea the Premier League in an instant. The Champions League would have been a good bet, too.

Yet the pair haven't scaled those heights for some time, with Eto'o being paid a king's ransom to take things easy in Russia with Anzhi Makhachkala, while Torres has only shown how deadly he can be in Europe, remaining inconsistent in the Premier League.

Outside of them Demba Ba is Chelsea's only other option for an out-and-out striker, and he hasn't quite lived up to his billing since joining from Newcastle United in January.

Other than Torres' exquisite strike in the Super Cup, none of Chelsea's strikers have scored this season either, which must be a concern for their manager.

There is talk of Mourinho spearheading a new project at Chelsea, but it was the same for his former protege Andre Villas-Boas two years ago and look where it got him.

That's not to suggest Mourinho's reign will end the same way, but with three strikers who cannot seemingly buy a goal between them right now, having a young upstart like Lukaku available would have been ideal.

He did it for West Bromwich Albion last season, and it seems the Belgian will be utilized as an impact sub once more at Everton in 2013-14.

At 20 years old, he remains raw and not yet ready to start every game. He has shown how effective he can be, though, and Chelsea are sure to find themselves in similar situations to their clash with Fulham at the weekend, where dogged opposition are proving hard to break down.

It's moments like that when a player of Lukaku's attributes will prove valuable, but come January, Chelsea cannot recall him to assist with their assault on the Premier League and Champions League, if they are indeed still in the running.

"At my age the most important thing is to play and develop," Lukaku told Sky Sports this week. "Everton gave me the opportunity so I'm very happy to be here. Chelsea is the future."

Given how things have transpired at Stamford Bridge this term, it's difficult to see why Chelsea cannot be Lukaku's present.

Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here: @garryhayes