The former ‘flat-track bully’ is a new man after his time in Italy and is looking forward to showing Premier League fans what he is capable of
New Chelsea signing Romelu Lukaku has said that his two years with Inter helped him to “master all the facets that a striker needs” and aims to lead by example as his club looks to secure more silverware in the 2021-22 season.
Lukaku returned to Stamford Bridge 10 years after originally arriving as a fresh-faced teenager, joining from Anderlecht with a reputation as one of the hottest prospects on the planet.
He was never quite able to settle at the top level in the Premier League, however, but feels that his time in Serie A under Antonio Conte has seen him come back to London as a “complete” striker.
What has Lukaku said?
The Belgian told Chelsea’s official website: “I just feel more complete. I’ve tried to master all the facets that a striker needs and I just want to keep improving on the small details all the time and keep improving on my strengths as well.
“I’m a leader but I’m also more of a gel person, making sure that everybody feels comfortable and confident. That’s the way I lead.
“When there’s a difficult moment in the game, they can lean on me and I’ll always be encouraging my team-mates, never being down on them or barking at them.”
Has Lukaku spoken to Thomas Tuchel yet?
“Yes, of course! The conversation was really clear from him, that he wants me to be a presence and a leader in the team.
“My role will depend on what the game plan is and what the boss wants me to do. If he wants me to be a focal point or if he wants me to attack the spaces in behind, I can do it. The two years in Italy helped me master all the facets of the game for a striker and now I’m ready.
“I like the system that we play and I’m very flexible. I can play as a two or by myself and I’m used to the system because it’s what we play with the Belgian national team so I don’t need much time to adapt.”
Why was Serie A so useful?
On the difference between Italian and English football, Lukaku added: “Italy is tactically and technically a better league but here in England, it’s all about the intensity. That’s what makes the difference.
“But it’s no problem for me because I’ve been here for eight years and I know what it’s all about. It’s not like I’m a new player coming in and not quite knowing what to expect. I know the league … and now we have to look forward.
“I’m a new version of that player from before. I’ve evolved and the team that I’m joining is a very strong team so now we just have to prove it on the pitch by challenging for the Premier League.”