Lukaku Watch / Monday Night Football Open Thread

Richard Heathcote

Today is Monday, November 5th. This is your open thread.

Today's word is LUKAKU.

I had been hoping that the big (as a fridge!) man-boy would start for West Bromwich Albion tonight, but it looks like Steve Clarke has decided to go with the once again fit Shane Long instead. Lukaku starts on the bench, although I think there's a good chance he will make an appearance at some point.

So that's something to watch out for and a reason to follow what otherwise, at first glance, may have been an uninspiring Monday Night Football matchup between overachieving WBA and the sieve that is Southampton Football Club.

An interesting sidebar to all this is the rash of stories that came out this morning in the English press: WBA manager Steve Clarke insisting that the Belgian powerhouse is happier at West Brom and he should stay. Happier at West Brom than at Chelsea, that is.

As we learned not too long ago, Chelsea do have a January recall option on Romelu Lukaku. With yet another dip in Fernando Torres's form and with Daniel Sturridge yet to convince, rumors are starting to fly hot and heavy about Chelsea actually exercising that option. So what does Clarke think about all that?

I haven’t spoken to Chelsea about what might happen, but I speak to Lukaku and I know he’s happy. He’s in a better place now than he was when he came to us at the start of the season because he’s played matches in the Premier League and he’s been a handful, he’s shown everybody that he’s a big talent and one for the future.

Lukaku is young, he’s raw, he’s got to learn how to develop, he works great on the training ground, he wants to be better.

-Steve Clarke via The Telegraph

Well why didn't you start him then today, versus that abject Saints defense? Scared he might bag five?

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