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Lukaku: Thanks Chelsea, but I don't want to 'spend 10 years on the bench'

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Laurence Griffiths

Neither Jose Mourinho nor Romelu Lukaku are known for mincing words when it comes to media interactions.  So while both protagonists' final assessments of the will-he/won't-he saga are quick to acknowledge and say the proper, respectful things, they also lay bare the harsh truths that they themselves hold evident.

"Things happen in football and sometimes it is not meant to be.  Chelsea are a big club and sometimes it is difficult for young players to come through.  But they gave me the opportunity to come to England."

"Chelsea are a big club and taught me how to be professional. When I came to England I was 18 and knew nothing about being professional.  I was very ambitious but Chelsea taught me about a work ethics and winning mentality."

"I don't have negative feelings about that football club.  But I want to have a good career. Because in football sometimes a career is only 10 years and I didn't want to spend 10 years on the bench."

-Romelu Lukaku; source: GetWestLondon

Jose paints Lukaku as the 'kid' who didn't want to compete.  Lukaku paints Chelsea as the big bad keeping him down and preventing him from having a good career.  The truth is probably somewhere in a middle, though I personally believe it's much closer to Jose's version than the player's.  Much, much closer.  Hopefully Lukaku will also learn one day that "professionalism" doesn't mean looking out for me, myself, and I far above everything else.

Seemingly, the decision to leave Chelsea had been made some time ago (possibly serving as catalyst for Drogba's return even?) as Romelu continues to be in a hurry to be older and more complete than his actual age would suggest.

"For me it was a very quick decision. I knew I wanted to come back here [to Everton] very quickly. I'm 21 and I needed to be in a good team and where it felt right. Here I have the confidence of the whole technical staff and the trust of the supporters. I feel I belong here. I have a very good relationship with everyone at this club. This is where I want to grow."

-Romelu Lukaku; source: The Guardian

One thing is for certain from both Jose's words and Lukaku's.  The situation had become untenable.  Lukaku wanted to go; the Chelsea board and Mourinho, much like they did for Juan Mata or Kevin De Bruyne, let him.

Good luck in all your future endeavors, Kraken Unleashed, except against Chelsea of course.