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Lukaku shows off in 5-a-side match, hangs with Courtois in LA, stokes Everton, Chelsea emotions

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There is a facility in Los Angeles called Urban Soccer 5, which caters to small-sided games (5-a-side, to be exact) with their ten artificial turf — this is California, after all — outdoor fields, a state-of-the-art clubhouse, automatic video recording of games, and all sorts of other goodies. The “best place to play 5-a-side in the Los Angeles area”, they claim, and they may not be wrong.

It’s the sort of place one might find a big club from Europe setting up a pre-season fan fest, for example, emblazoning many of the boards and available wall space with their and their sponsors’ logos, just as Chelsea did last summer during the stop in Pasadena.

It’s also the sort of place where big stars like Romelu Lukaku, Samir Nasri, and Andre-Pierre Gignac might gather for a friendly Brussels vs. Marseille match of 5-a-side.

Good times + Great Players = Amazing Memories ⚽️ #us5center

A post shared by Urban Soccer 5 Center (@us5center) on

The tiny pitch is a bit unfair when you have a cannon for a leg like Romelu Lukaku and can unleash unstoppable shots from just about anywhere, which Lukaku was quite happy to show off to Instagram as well.

Bang bang ...

A post shared by Romelu Lukaku bolingoli (@rlukaku9) on

It didn’t take long for social media, with their penchant for the dramatic, to pick up on the badges displayed around the pitch, Chelsea alternating with adidas just as they did back in the summer of 2016. They might be leftovers, they might be a more permanent arrangement — Chelsea’s touring motto of “Here to play, here to stay” manifests itself in these sorts of things quite often — either way it’s a silly indication of anything to do with Lukaku’s future.

Obviously we’re signing Gignac instead.

Lukaku made the mistake of looking at his replies and his mentions on both Instagram and Twitter, prompting him to follow up with that tweet.

That said, the BS is partly his own doing after making it very clear that his ambitions lie above Everton’s level and that he basically has an “agreement” to join another club this summer, most likely Chelsea after Manchester United dropped out of the race. Unfortunately, Chelsea and Everton do not have an agreement yet — and if/when they do, Instagram won’t be how we find out about it, as Kristof points out.

In any case, I’m sure Lukaku and Courtois had a good laugh about it later over drinks and dancing and whatever kids do these days in da club.