West Bromwich Albion have confirmed today that center forward Romelu Lukaku will be spending the remainder of the 2012/13 season on loan with the club, and will not be returning to Chelsea until the summer. The full statement is as follows:
West Bromwich Albion are pleased to confirm that Romelu Lukaku will remain at The Hawthorns for the rest of the season.
The 19-year-old striker joined the Baggies on a season-long loan from Chelsea in August and has enjoyed a productive first five months, with his seven goals making him the club’s current top Barclays Premier League scorer.
As is often the case with season-long loans, parent club Chelsea inserted a January recall option in the deal. This option expired on Monday, which means Lukaku will complete the campaign with the Baggies.
Hopefully Lukaku continues to get starts for WBA, as the minutes are certainly good for his development. I'd have personally brought him back, as I'd much prefer to see both Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku getting the lion's share of the minutes here. It's not hard to understand why management doesn't want to just relegate Fernando Torres to the bench though, and if Torres is going to continue to get regular minutes, it makes little sense to recall Lukaku.
What this does mean is that Chelsea almost certainly need to buy another player that can act as a striker now, as an injury to one of our center forwards would leave us with basically no cover for the other. I suppose that guy is probably going to be Taison, but I guess we'll have to wait and see on that.
Best of luck at West Brom Romelu, and keep banging in the goals. Most of us are looking forward to the day that you are doing it in Chelsea blue.