Earlier this month the uncertainty about Romelu Lukaku’s future had been put to rest when news spread that the Belgium international supposedly decided to stay at Chelsea and fight it out with goal machine Diego Costa and misfiring Fernando Torres for a place in the first team. But with the signing of Didier Drogba, the rumour has gained new life.
At the start of last season it was almost sure that Lukaku would be included in the premier league Chelsea squad. But immediately after his Super cup penalty miss against Bayern Munich he was shipped out to Everton on loan. He had succumbed to pressure at that big game and that is something that Mourinho doesn’t tolerate in his team. This is evident in the signings he made so far. Mourinho is known for signing players based on experience and form at the top level. But Didier Drogba is an exemption to this phenomenon and we all know what that shrewd signing did for Chelsea‘s success.
In the just concluded FIFA world cup we saw a player in Lukaku who succumbed to the pressure of a big game. Sure there were moments that showed us the level of his talent that made him a highly regarded striker in the premier league. But when we look at his campaign, which was his one true chance at impressing his club coach, we are sure to be disappointed. With Benteke out of the world cup, it was Lukaku’s golden chance to shine at the most important event in football. But what resulted was following a series of unimpressive performances he was replaced often by Divock Origi or even reduced to the role of a substitute in the final games. This was yet another example of choking at the big games. One person who is almost opposite performance is Torres who shines especially in cup matches and big games for Chelsea.
This failure at the big game is a big negative in Mourinho’s books.
The super cup penalty miss was a huge factor in loaning out to Everton last season. He gained quality first team experience last season with the toffees. That reputation was again lost with his dismal world cup campaign. With two seasons left in his contract it is a viable option to loan out the Belgian to Everton again and let him have first team experience which cannot be guaranteed for him at Chelsea. At 21 years of age, his achievements have surely exceeded expectations. He has plenty of years in his career to become a well rounded player. The best decision that Lukaku can take for his career is to put away any thoughts of a permanent transfer to Everton and instead join them on loan. With the Europa league qualification, it will be a wonderful platform for Lukaku to gain some valuable game time against some top European teams. By the end of the season he would have more exposure to competition at high levels and learn how to face high pressure situations. After that he will have a season more in his Chelsea contract and have a shot at playing under the tactical mastermind who turned a rather unknown player into The Didier Drogba or maybe if he is lucky he could have Drogba as a coach in his team to mould him. Being a player with attributes similar to Drogba’s it will be a dream come true for him to play in a team that has been designed by Mourinho with a striker of those qualities in mind.