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Romelu Lukaku has promised Chelsea fans his days of jumping ship every couple of seasons are over.
Which is a good thing – given the Blues have just blown a shade under £100million to re-sign the Belgium striker, whose first spell in south west London from 2011 to 2014 ended with no goals in ten league appearances.
To be fair most of that period was spent on loan, firstly with West Brom and then Everton. And so, began Lukaku’s remarkably nomadic career.
Three seasons as a permanent Toffee were followed by two rollercoaster ones at Manchester United before, most recently, Lukaku completed two in Italy, where he fired Inter Milan to the 2021 Serie A title.
But ahead of his second debut for Chelsea – away to Arsenal today – he indicated he is now ready to settle down for good and see out his entire five-year deal at Stamford Bridge.
Lukaku, 28, declared: “I’ve moved to a lot of teams but, yes, I’ve come back to this one – and this is the right time and the right place for me to do that and to stay.
“I am very fortunate to sign a five-year deal at this club and now I will try to achieve as much as possible throughout these years. “
Chelsea’s gain is very much Inter’s loss. There has been genuine uproar among the Italian club’s faithful over his sudden £98.2m departure.
However, the truth is Lukaku has only ever had eyes for Chelsea. They have been his favourite club since he was a nipper rising through the ranks at Belgium outfit Anderlecht.
And that allegiance has remained unwavering, which is why, when Thomas Tuchel’s Champions League holders came calling for his services in July, he did not hesitate in seizing the chance to resume his lifelong footballing dream.
“When you are supporting a team since you were 10-years old and you get the opportunity to play for them, what do you think it means? That was really it,” Lukaku explained.
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“There are people who love Real Madrid, people who love Barcelona, people who love Inter Milan. I love Chelsea.
"That was the thing I had worked for. Now I am here…and I’m very happy.”
For such a lethal marksman at club and international level, Lukaku’s apparent lack of interest in personal stats seems a contradiction in terms.
Yet the forward, with 251 goals in 508 games for seven clubs to date, is adamant that hitting the net is not his main motivation as he enters his peak years.
He is greedy for silverware, aware if that happens with Chelsea, the rest will take care of itself.
Quizzed about emulating the feats being produced by Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, who continues to rack up huge numbers well into his 30s, Lukaku’s response was unexpected.
“I don’t look too much forward. I’ve never been a guy who talks about personal ambition,” added Belgium’s all-time scorer, with 64 in 98 appearances.
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“I’m the type who lets my football on the pitch do the talking. I don’t talk about individual records and numbers because that’s not me.
“All I’m interested in talking about is winning. The rest is nice but winning is the most important thing.
“Chelsea’s ambition is very consistent in terms of winning trophies. As a player, if you get there, you know there’s a possibility to win multiple trophies.
“That's what I like about this club.”
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- Chelsea FC
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