Romelu Lukaku’s transfer to one of the European elite seems almost inevitable this summer. The teenage superstar is touted to be one of the best young prospects in world football and whilst experience tells us that this potential doesn’t always materialise, Lukaku does look to have the talent to achieve great things. But where will he end up come the start of next season and which club would be best for the striker?
It was widely reported at the end of last week that Chelsea had made an £18million bid for the 18-year-old but the wealth of his talent means that it is unlikely Chelsea will get free reign to sign the teenager without some competition. Arsenal are the latest team linked with Lukaku and whilst both sets of fans can drool over the prospect of him joining them, which club would be the best destination for Lukaku?
Lukaku has been labeled the next Didier Drogba and it is easy to see why. Whilst still only being teenager, Lukaku is a massive physical presence in the box but has the skills and eye for goal to match. The comparisons with Drogba mean he would be an obvious fit in a Chelsea shirt. His style of play could fit easily well at Chelsea who have utilized Drogba with so much success over the years. Chelsea are also reported to be the only team that have made a firm offer so they look to have the lead on any potential deal.
But what about Arsenal? The deal that saw Gervinho arrive at the Emirates may cast doubt over whether Wenger is in the market for another new striker but would Lukaku be a good match for the Gunners? Wenger always as an eye on the next young talent so Lukaku could not have gone unnoticed by the Arsenal manager. Arsenal have a fantastic record of developing youngsters and Lukaku would certainly fit into that model. He also has the skill to slot into Arsenal’s attacking game. By going to Arsenal over a team like Chelsea he would give himself more chance of playing first team football on a regular basis. Despite Gervinho’s arrival there is still a need for more goals at the Emirates but with Chelsea there is Fernando Torres, Nicolas Anelka, Daniel Sturridge and Drogba to compete with.
A move to Europe is also a possibility for Lukaku despite England looking the more likely destination. Real Madrid have been linked with him in the past and are in the market for a target man. But whilst Lukaku has the skill to cause Spanish defenses endless problems, I think his combination of power, presence and physique would be best utilized in the Premier League.
But what would the Premier League be getting if Lukaku did make the move to England? Well the stats are frighteningly good for a player who made his first team breakthrough at Anderlecht at only 16-years-old. He scored an amazing 121 goals in 88 games for Anderlecht’s youth sides and such form understandably saw him promoted to the first team. Despite only being 16 he was the top scorer in Belgium in the 2009/10 season where he scored 15 goals (he has scored a total of 31 league goals in 71 first team appearances) and has already made the breakthrough on the international stage with Belgium.
A move to Chelsea does look the more likely and whilst Lukaku would have to face more competition for places at Chelsea rather than Arsenal, the chance to work alongside Drogba and build on his game at Stamford Bridge would benefit him more in the long-term. But wherever Lukaku does end up, any of the Premier League’s top teams should do their upmost to sign a star of the future.
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