Romelu Lukaku returns to Chelsea a ‘more complete’ player after time in Serie A

Belgian striker vows to live up to his €115m price tag on return to Stamford Bridge

 Romelu Lukaku believes his time with Inter Milan has made him a better player. Photograph:  Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images

Romelu Lukaku believes his time with Inter Milan has made him a better player. Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images

 

Romelu Lukaku has vowed to live up to his €115 million fee after seeing his dream of returning to Chelsea come true.

The Belgium striker has unfinished business at Chelsea after leaving them for Everton seven years ago and is determined to help Thomas Tuchel’s side challenge for the Premier League title. Lukaku played a key role in Inter Milan winning Serie A last season and is raring to go before facing Arsenal on Sunday.

“The dream is a reality now so I have to prove myself on the pitch,” the 28-year-old said. “Now I’m here it’s time to get to work and let my performances do the talking. This is a dressingroom with personality and I am glad to be back. As a footballer, you fight to achieve your dreams. I am here now and I can’t wait to be on the pitch and perform with my team-mates.”

Lukaku, who has taken the No 9 shirt after Tammy Abraham’s €40 million move to Roma, honed his game during his two years under Antonio Conte at Inter. “Maturity has been important,” the former Manchester United forward said. “I think I’ve learned much more about myself, setting higher standards for myself.

“As a player, it’s been about becoming more complete as the game in Italy is more different. The spaces are tighter, it’s more technical and tactical, and that helped me a lot. The English game is different but for me, it’s not something new.”

Lukaku revealed that he has both of his Covid-19 vaccinations. “I’m double vaccinated,” he said. “For me it’s different because I have a few family members that are high risk. I think as a player, it’s up to you to make the decision. The only thing we can do is be careful around the general population because we have a lot of responsibilities. I did it because my family are high risk.”

Lukaku believes that winning the Champions League last season shows that Chelsea are mature enough to compete for the title. “[Cesar] Azpilicueta is the captain and he has been here for many years as a great captain,” he said. “When I was in quarantine, he was already messaging me helping me to find a house.

“He is a leader and there’s many other players with a big personality in the dressingroom. I am a player that likes to connect with people and make them feel comfortable to give them confidence. The players we have are worth it and they showed that last season.”

Chelsea have sent Michy Batshuayi to Besiktas on a season-long loan. The striker has extended his contract until 2023. – Guardian

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