Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku believes the timing of his return to Chelsea is ideal after a rocky first term at Stamford Bridge. He made a second spell at Chelsea with a football transfer in August. Romelu Lukaku called his initial stint at Chelsea “difficult,” but he believes he grew as a player with the experience and thinks there could not be better a time of his return to Stamford Bridge.
He’s scored four goals in all competitions so far this season, more than any other teammate, on a team-high 25 shots. Marcos Alonso, a left-back, is next on the list, with 17. The 28-year-old believes that his time in London was essential in his growth. “[My first spell at Chelsea] was painful and helpful, but I would say more helpful because it gave me the mentality and the mindset that I needed to become the player I am today,” Lukaku said to the official club website.
“The team was very good, but nobody saw the extra work they did after the training sessions. As an 18-year-old, I saw first-hand every day how much the players worked on their craft. That’s when I knew that was what you had to do to become this type of player. I told myself, ‘when I’m not playing, this is what I’m going to do’, and it basically just became a lifestyle.”
In 2017, he was linked with a return to Chelsea after leaving Everton but instead chose to join United when Chelsea acquired Alvaro Morata. Lukaku, on the other hand, is convinced that the timing of this move is ideal. “I knew I would improve as a player, so it was just about timing,” Lukaku added. “I had two opportunities to come back, in 2016 and 2017, but it didn’t happen for various reasons.”
“In the end, it happened because now is the right time, the right age, the team is doing well and everything is there for it to be successful. I’m much calmer. I’ve matured with fatherhood, and I’m more laid-back. After winning in Italy and knowing what it takes to get there, that really helped me. In the last three years, I’ve been able to build something that I can take on for the rest of my career.”
“It can be complicated but when you really set your mind to do something, and you really dedicate everything that you have to that goal, you can achieve it. I recognised my little qualities and talent, but I also knew what I was not good at, and I really spent a lot of time working on those attributes to be the complete package.”
“Now, it feels good. I’m very happy with the opportunity, and we’ve started really well as a team. My teammates have made life very easy for me and the coach is doing a great job. Our performances have been good, but we’re always looking for the next challenge.”