Updated: Sep 13
This past weekend, Thomas Tuchel finally broke the Arsenal curse. It was the first time Chelsea beat Arsenal since the 2019/20 season. One of the main players responsible is the topic of this week’s player profile, Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku had a great game, scoring once, as well as setting up great chances and being denied a second by a great save. Hopefully he can keep it up next game, but in this article I will be running through a few stages of Romelu’s career.
Romelu has been playing football since he was a child, first playing for his hometown team Rupel Bloom at 5 years old. He then was signed to the Belgium Pro League club, Lierse, where he played for their youth team. Eventually, Lierse were relegated from the Pro League, so another Belgium Pro League team signed many of their youth players, including Lukaku. After playing as an Anderlecht youth player for 3 years, he signed his first professional contract. Lukaku performed well for the Anderlecht first team, so he was signed by, guess who, Chelsea. Unfortunately, his first tenure with Chelsea was not so successful. In his first season with Chelsea, Romelu spent most of his time playing with the reserves, though he turned in a man of the match performance in his first premier league start. In order to get more play time, Lukaku was loaned to West Brom where he had more goals then any Chelsea player with 17, but the season ended badly for him, for when he rejoined the club he ended up missing the deciding penalty in the UEFA Super Cup.
That penalty ended up being Romelu’s last touch for Chelsea in his first go around, because next season he was loaned to Everton and after a very impressive season, was purchased for a then club record 28 million pounds. Lukaku performed well in his first season as a permanent Everton player, where he was the leading goal scorer in the Europa League with 8 goals and scored 20 goals in all competitions. In 2015, Lukaku had another great season which included scoring in 6 consecutive premier league games, an Everton record, and in 8 consecutive matches in all competitions. In his 2016 season, Lukaku scored 17 goals in the premier league which was a premier league-era record for Everton. Lukaku continued to perform at a high level. In 2017, he became the first Everton player to score 25 goals in all competitions in two consecutive seasons. He was also named in the PFA Team of the Year for the first time.
Manchester United bought Lukaku from Everton for 93 million dollars according to transfermarkt. Lukaku started his time with Manchester United well, scoring in his debut and scoring twice in his premier league debut. Throughout his time with Man U his form slowed down and eventually came to an all time low when Man United hired Ole Gunner Solskjær. Ole benched Lukaku in favor of Marcus Rashford. Despite this, Lukaku’s time in Manchester resulted in him reaching the accomplishment of 100 premier league goals. Lukaku scored 42 goals in 96 appearances for Manchester United before he was sold to Inter Milan for $81 million. That was a club record signing for Inter and he proved his value. He scored 35 goals in all competitions in 2019/20 and continued his success where he led Inter Milan to the Scudetto in the 2020/21 season setting the record for the most goals in a title winning team. His incredible success with Inter led Chelsea to make Lukaku their club record signing for a fee of $126.5 million. After scoring in his debut against Arsenal, it's fair to wonder if he can lead Chelsea to the title and possibly win himself the golden boot, which many have predicted him to win.
Cover Images: Chelsea Pitch Owners plc