Can Lukaku become the next Drogba for Chelsea?

Chelsea signed striker Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan in August for £100 million, and the Belgian international has hit the ground running a...

Chelsea signed striker Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan in August for £100 million, and the Belgian international has hit the ground running at his new club. Lukaku made his debut against Arsenal and scored just 15 minutes into his first match for the Blues.

After struggling for consistency in front of goal last season, Chelsea’s need for a prolific goal scorer was clear. The Blues were linked with Erling Haaland earlier in the transfer window, but their move for Lukaku could prove to be a more reliable choice that will be worth the money.

The 28-year-old has plenty of Premier League experience. He also arrives with a consistent, world-class scoring record that he is likely to continue in West London. His addition to the Chelsea squad this summer could provide the difference in the Premier League title race.

What does Signing Lukaku Means for the Title Race?

The 2020/21 campaign for Chelsea was a complete contrast. The first half was one of bedding in and inconsistency, while the second was a massive success.

Talented young prospects like Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech all joined the club, which led to an inconsistent start to the season. By the mid-way point, club legend Frank Lampard was sacked following a poor run of results, and he was replaced by German manager Thomas Tuchel.

What followed was solidity and tactical astuteness. Tuchel got the best from his players, which eventually led to their success in the Champions League, defeating Atletico, Real Madrid, and Man City for their second-ever European Cup win.

However, in the Premier League, there was an element missing. Chelsea were still hard-to-beat domestically, but they lacked a cutting edge on occasion. Werner was getting chances, getting in good scoring positions. But he lacked conviction when finishing, ultimately affecting his confidence as the blue’s lead striker.

Last season, Chelsea lack of an out and out goal scorer was clear. Defensive midfielder Jorginho was the club’s top scorer in the Premier League, with seven goals. Last year’s new signing Werner scored the most overall for the club, finding the net 12 times in all competitions.

The arrival of Lukaku will bridge this gap between a solid team foundation and a cutting edge in attack. The Belgian striker has plenty of Premier League experience already. He had successful spells at West Brom, Everton and Man United, scoring 113 goals in 252 matches in the English top-flight before he moved to Inter Milan in 2019.

In Serie A, Lukaku notched up an equally impressive goal scoring record. Overall, the 28-year-old netted 47 goals in 72 Serie A appearances. Last season, his 24 goals in 36 appearances led Inter to their first Serie A title in 11 years, poof that his goals can contribute to title-winning success.

Lukaku’s consistent record will be important. But his presence and experience may also provide an extra edge for teammate Tim Werner. After Werner’s patchy 2020/21 campaign, he may benefit from withdrawing from the firing line as Chelsea’s main striker. There will be anticipation that Lukaku takes the reigns as Chelsea’s number nine, and this could allow Werner to flourish, either as a strike partner or as a rotation player this season.

Can Lukaku Match Drogba’s Chelsea Legacy?

There is no doubt that Lukaku is a talented goal scorer. His consistency in front of goal will be a huge benefit to Chelsea, and his contributions could add the extra edge that the Blues lacked at times domestically last season.

At the age of 28, Lukaku also has plenty of prolific years ahead of him. His new contract at Stamford Bridge will run until 2026, giving him plenty of time to add to his overall Premier League scoring record at the club where his successful football career began.

Due to the high expectations around Lukaku’s transfer back o West London, comparisons are being made with Chelsea legend Didier Drogba. Drogba was a key figure during the blue’s success in the 2000s and 2010s. The Ivory Coast forward scored 104 goals across nine seasons at Stamford Bridge, and he won four Premier League titles with the club. It’s quite the task for Lukaku to live up to the famed reputation of Drogba, but that hasn’t stopped bookmakers involved with the Football Betting odds from backing the Belgian into becoming a legend at Stamford Bridge.

Although Lukaku may not be able to amass the same goal-scoring record as Chelsea legend Drogba in his time in West London, he still has an opportunity to create a legacy at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea fans are well aware of Lukaku’s talent as he represented the club before moving to West Brom on loan in 2012 and then permanently to Everton in 2013.

Lukaku’s return is a massive boost for Chelsea and their title chances this season. The prolific striker could provide the much-needed composure in front of goal to emulate the career of Didier Drogba before him. Lukaku also has the chance to lead Chelsea into a new era under Thomas Tuchel as Chelsea's talisman.  

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