It’s that time of the year when the seasons are winding down. On one end there are dreams being realised and at the other there are hearts broken. There is safety in avoiding the drop and euphoria at being counted amongst the collective ‘elite’ in next season’s competitions.
In the all-encompassing emotional rollercoaster that is World Football, it would not be complete without the transfer rumour mill doing its bit to pull at the heartstrings once more. Your favourite player is linked with a move away from the club after declaring his undying love and kissing the badge all season long; the manager is looking to spend the whole season’s budget on one player; the squad needs more depth; the squad needs more youth; the debt needs reducing; the sponsors are packing it in… It’s everywhere!
Speculation is always rife in the upper echelons of football royalty and as usual it’s chief amongst the ‘Big Four’ who will now be three, the ‘Big Two’ in Spain, Ze Germans, and even to some extent the French…everybody is getting in on the action. Closer to home though, this is the time we will hear a host of football star names linked with Chelsea Football Club and one such names that has made many appearances in recent weeks is that of Romelu Lukaku.
Who is this, you may ask, having NEVER heard of the kid until he was linked with the biggest names in European football. He is the 17 year old wunderkind from BELGIUM! If you are sensing a little bit of tongue-in-cheek there, you are not mistaken. Something about wunderkind and Belgium and Anderlecht that brings a wry smile, but let’s have a look at where this all comes from.
With a hefty price tag, the Belgian ‘sensation’ has been dubbed ‘The New Drogba’ and so having known the old Drogba over his career, particularly with the Blues it was easy to look at this youngster and make that comparison. So in digging a little deeper to see what the fuss was about I have to admit that, he is a little Drogba-esque to some extent. Actually, not little at all. At 6’3” the 17yr old is just as likely to take on the Klitschko brothers (yes, both of them).
He looks more on the money to knock Pacquiao out in 6 rounds than Floyd Mayweather. His 6’3” frame is coupled with pace off the mark, being good in the air, leading the line as a lone striker, a not too shabby first touch and after a quick turn he can rifle those shots in with some aplomb. So far so good, pretty much like the old or should I say CURRENT Drogba. We’ll tick that box.
So here’s this 17yr old with less than a handful of international caps being touted as someone to lead the line in years to come. In as much as there has been some positive talks about him coming out of Belgium, it’s exactly that isn’t it: Belgium. And that already leaves me with room for doubt.
Too long have a litany of ‘star’ players come from leagues where they have shone and as soon as they leave for the British shores they falter considerably, like Adrian Mutu, Helder Postiga, Massimo Taibi (ha ha ha), Claudio Pizzarro and Tomas Brolin to name a few. There’s no guarantee that strikers and midfielders who come from higher reputation leagues will cut it in the Premiership, and many such have failed, and surely coming from a ‘lesser’ league and at that age there is reason to question his signing at that price.
The similarities can be drawn to one young Brazilian whose name has been bandied with Stamford Bridge, and that is Neymar. Like him, Lukaku’s people have been blowing hot and cold on his transfer to London, and it begs the question of the seriousness of this whole debacle.
Will Anderlecht look to cash in on a striker who will not get much better than he already is by staying, and with the names that are in the hat does it justify the inflated price? Or like Drogba, will this youngster prove to be the beast that he is mentioned currently, and bring fear to Premier League defenders like he does in Belgium? Richard Dunne beware!
Written by Mr Teeks from the TheShedEnder.com