Chelsea’s highly-rated prospect Romelu Lukaku stated during January he would be open to a loan move in the summer if his first team chances do not improve at the Bridge.
This statement alerted Premier League teams such as QPR and Stoke. An offer was on the table from Stoke City during the January window, but due to Premier League rules which state ‘a temporary transfer to a club may not take place in the transfer window in which the transfer or club acquired the player’s registration’.
With his first team appearances remaining limited at Chelsea a loan next season seems an almost certainty. Everton have recently expressed interest in the 18 year old forward but German outfit Hamburg have also thrown their name into the hat. Former Chelsea employee Frank Arnesen is currently a chief at Hamburg, a role which helped Hamburg secure the loan services of another Chelsea youngster, Jeffrey Bruma.
Lukaku shot to fame during the 2009-10 season claiming the golden boot in Belgium at just 16. He scored 16 goals in 37 matches last season, and has claimed much praise for his performances for Anderlecht. During his time at Chelsea he has failed to push for a starting place – most of the time not even making the bench – a turn of events which seems strange considering his record and transfer fee.
With the physical attributes he possesses and his undoubted potential, coupled with the poor form of both Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres this season it seems strange to me Lukaku has had so few opportunities. He is a self-professed Chelsea fan which would adhere him to the Stamford Bridge faithful and with AVB talking about the future plan he seems to fit the bill perfectly. AVB however seems to feel he is not ready to make regular appearances and maybe a loan will help him develop.
I feel a loan to Hamburg would be beneficial to both parties but a move within the Premier League to a team that is not a direct rival to Chelsea would be better suited. This would allow Lukaku to gain playing time and experience of Premier League football while allowing Chelsea to keep a close eye on his progress.
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