Unfinished business is the theme of Romelu Lukaku’s glorious return, which is good since it takes the narrative away from the club-record transfer fee and in many ways, lessens the pressure to perform as well — though hopefully we don’t have to worry about another Fernando Torres or Álvaro Morata situation either way.
Lukaku certainly sounds confident and self-assured in his first official interview with Chelsea, no longer just a young boy with big dreams and big britches.
“I’m very happy to be back. It’s good to be around the people and see a lot of familiar faces so I’m looking forward to getting to work with the team. [I want] to help the team win and be available for the manager as well as for my team-mates. I want to make sure that they feel comfortable and they can lean on me in whatever situation we’re in.
“I’m a leader but I’m also more of a gel person, making sure that everybody feels comfortable and confident. That’s the way I lead. When I was at Inter and when I’ve been captain of the national team, I make sure that everybody is confident and knows what they have to do. When there’s a difficult moment in the game, they can lean on me and I’ll always be encouraging my team-mates, never being down on them or barking at them. I try to stay positive and make sure that we win the game because that’s always the most important thing.”
The 28-year-old has emerged from his five-day isolation and is set to join the first-team tomorrow as training resumes following the weekend’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace.
He will hopefully fit right in with the rest of the team.
“[Tuchel] wants me to be a presence and a leader in the team. I have to just use all my abilities to make sure I can help the team as much as possible.
“My role will depend on what the game plan is and what the boss wants me to do. If he wants me to be a focal point or if he wants me to attack the spaces in behind, I can do it. The two years in Italy helped me master all the facets of the game for a striker and now I’m ready.
“I like the system that we play and I’m very flexible. I can play as a two or by myself and I’m used to the system because it’s what we play with the Belgian national team so I don’t need much time to adapt. It’s just knowing the strengths of my team-mates in important positions and knowing what we do off the ball, then I can do the rest.”
The Lukaku we remember from a decade ago was young, raw, and incomplete.
The Lukaku who returns now is older, wiser, better, and almost complete.
Let us be complete together.
“I just feel more complete. I’ve tried to master all the facets that a striker needs and I just want to keep improving on the small details all the time and keep improving on my strengths as well. [...] I’m a new version of that player from before. I’ve evolved and the team that I’m joining is a very strong team so now we just have to prove it on the pitch by challenging for the Premier League.
“[My personal ambitions] lean with the club’s ambitions. That’s why I came back. Chelsea wants to keep winning, keep growing as a club and really dominate in England and Europe. That’s something that I wanted and I’m here now so it’s up to me to help the team achieve its potential.”
-Romelu Lukaku; source: Chelsea FC
Let’s get to work!