Romelu Lukaku's a bit of an enigma. Chelsea spent a lot of money taking the Belgian off Anderlecht's hands over the summer - £18M, to be precise - and since he's barely featured for the first team. Granted, it's difficult to get a spell with Chelsea when the Blues are already rotating two of the best-paid strikers in the world through the centre forward spot, but Lukaku's lack of playing time considering the investment is alarming.
For his part, Lukaku's looking for more playing time in the first team, and if he doesn't get it he'd like to go on loan:
If my situation at Chelsea does not evolve between now and the end of the season, it may be better to be loaned out for a season.
A loan this season is not possible, as I have already played for two different clubs (but) if this situation endures, it might be better to play for another club for a year and then come back.
But let's see what happens in the next six months. Many things could still change.
-Source: Belga via ESPN Soccernet.
(not to the media: Pay attention to the bolded bit)
Lukaku's a fascinating, if flawed player, and while I'm confident that he'll end up a star for Chelsea it's a real shame he's being wasted right now. If we could send him on loan like Josh McEachran, I'm positive that we'd do so, but that rule he mentions precludes the teenager from going anywhere until next season. It's doing him not much good at all sitting on the bench or playing for the reserves.
While a loan would probably be a idea right now, that doesn't mean that it would still be so clever next season. There's some time for Lukaku to impress with Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou out, and hopefully Andre Villas-Boas will take the opportunity to hand him a start right now. It'd be really nice to see the Blues stroll to a blowout win just to let some of the younger players get some time on the pitch, because it's frustrating all of them right now.