Romelu Lukaku’s first spell at Chelsea wasn’t quite a famous one. The Belgian is a classic example of a Blues reject who made it big elsewhere.
Lukaku joined Chelsea in 2011 as an 18-year-old from Anderlecht in a €15m deal. The teenager was pre-billed as Didier Drogba’s long-term successor, but later managed only 15 appearances for the first team.
And despite impressive loan spells at West Brom and Everton, then-Blues boss Jose Mourinho sold Lukaku to the latter club for €35.36m in 2014.
Following Mourinho’s move to Manchester United, the Portuguese manager ironically re-signed Lukaku for Manchester United three years later for €84.70m. However, Lukaku couldn’t impress his Manchester employers as they later offloaded him two years later.
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The 27-year-old has since linked up with former Chelsea coach Antonio Conte at Inter Milan and is firing in the goals in Serie A.
In fact, Romelu Lukaku has been tipped as an early frontrunner for the 2021 Ballon d’Or in light of his brilliant form this season.
But if the past is what to hold account for, Romelu Lukaku’s first spell at Chelsea wasn’t a spectacular one at all.