So it would appear that it’s Diego Costa OUT, Romelu Lukaku IN at Stamford Bridge, the Prodigal Son returning to assume his throne that was once earmarked for him, but then it wasn’t. I’m sure we’ll have to deal with and work through and digest all that drama in the near future, but for now, here’s a twelve-minute video (h/t: tatamourinho) that shows off some of Lukaku’s other, less obvious skills — namely his first-touch (not always terrible!), his link-up play (not always selfish!), and his hold-up play (Costa strong, Lukaku stronger).
Lukaku is of course about goals as well as all great strikers should be. In Costa, Chelsea are losing a proven goalscorer and one who has carried the team more often than not. Lukaku will be counted on to do the same at times, so it’s heartening to see him scoring a few goals of the non-stereotypical variety (i.e. not in acres of space) towards the end of the video above.
If Big Rom can score in tight space against massed ranks of defenders, if he can hold the ball up, link play, and buy into the Conte ethos of never-ending hard work (Costa’s pressing from the front was surely one of the most underrated aspects of his game), then he will have been worth every penny of the £80-100m transfer fee Chelsea are about to pay for him.