Lukaku has been loaned out by the Blues in each of the past two seasons to West Bromwich Albion and Everton, respectively. The 21-year-old star from Belgium has netted a combined 33 goals over the past two years and will have no shortage of EPL suitors.
With Chelsea seemingly not ready to bring him to Stamford Bridge on a full-time basis, another loan is possible. That isn't ideal from Lukaku's perspective, though, as he would prefer to transfer to another EPL club permanently, according to Neil McLeman of the Daily Mirror:
What I don't want is to be loaned out. I am 21 and I have been loaned for the last two seasons. Thibaut Courtois was loaned for three seasons and will be without doubt the first-choice Chelsea goalkeeper. And Kevin De Bruyne has been transferred permanently to Wolfsburg. They are free in their heads—it is not my case. That would free me totally.
It is certainly understandable why Lukaku would like to have some certainty in his future, but this is something that young players often go through. It is Chelsea's prerogative to continue loaning him out if they so choose, and they shouldn't cave in to Lukaku's demands.
Lukaku could be one of the EPL's best strikers in the very near future, so it would be foolish of the Blues to let him walk. One can only assume that Chelsea have big plans for Lukaku, but they are taking a cautious approach and waiting for the right time to move forward with him.
What should Chelsea do with Romelu Lukaku during the upcoming season?
If Lukaku exercises some patience, he may ultimately find that Chelsea provide the best situation for him. He will undoubtedly be surrounded by plenty of talent when he joins the Blues permanently, and he will have an opportunity to win regularly.
Based on his comments to Sky Sports, winning is hugely important to Lukaku.
"It depends what is the best for me, where the most ambition is and where is the best place for me to do develop as a young player," Lukaku said. "I'm still 21 but I think I'm experienced enough. I've played a lot of games and scored a lot of goals, now I want to win titles and be one of the best."
Even so, it has to be tough for him to ignore the potential overtures being made by other EPL clubs. According to Goal UK, Tottenham are among the teams posturing to pry the 6'3" forward away from Chelsea:
This is an extremely delicate situation for all sides involved, but the Blues have to stand their ground. They certainly run the risk of alienating Lukaku and making things awkward when he does join Chelsea down the line; however, it probably won't take long for those hard feelings to go away.
When Lukaku comes to the realization that Chelsea is one of the premier clubs in the world and that they are threats to win multiple trophies, then all will be forgotten.
Chelsea will need depth up front in the near future, and the fact that Belgian countrymen Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard play at Stamford Bridge means there would likely be a certain comfort level for Lukaku there. Chelsea very much seems like the perfect spot for Lukaku, but he is simply impatient.
If the Blues sit Lukaku down and explain the situation, then it is still possible for this to be a fruitful marriage. Shipping him off permanently wouldn't solve anything, and it would rob Chelsea supporters of a potentially great goalscorer moving forward.
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