17-year-old Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku has revealed that he has turned down a move to both Chelsea and Arsenal in the past, but is now ready to head to the Premier League. Lukaku claims that the Blues and Gunners both approached him in his early teens, but decided to stay in Belgium. However, Anderlecht are now resigned to losing one of the hottest properties in European football and a move looks likely in the summer when Lukaku turns 18.
Speaking to Goal.com, Lukaku said “Chelsea and Arsenal tried to sign me when I was 13, 14. Chelsea is my favourite team. I have always said it and I have never hidden it. But it is not because Chelsea is my favourite team that I have to go there. There is also Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City. These big five are very interesting. Tottenham are also a good club.”
The top teams in the Premier League, alongside the biggest clubs in Europe, will be closely monitoring Romelu Lukaku’s future in the short term and will be looking to lure him to their club. It is likely that a bid in the region of £25 million will be needed to prize him away from Anderlecht, a huge sum of money for a player so young, but his emerging reputation already precedes him.
Lukaku is a presence up front, standing at 6ft 3in tall and making him adept at playing the lone striking role. He has scored 33 goals in 76 appearances for Anderlecht and became the youngest ever top scorer in the Belgian league last season when he netted 15 times.
Romelu has even likened himself to Didier Drogba, stating that “I looked up to Cristiano Ronaldo and then it was always [Didier] Drogba. As I understand more and more about football I see the qualities I have and I can see myself in him [Drogba]. I have almost the same qualities and I want to follow in his footsteps.”
The chase for Lukaku’s signature in the summer is likely to be a frantic one with all the big players from Europe sure to be involved. Chelsea would love to snare him as a long term replacement for Didier Drogba, but Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid will have other ideas.