Petr Cech believes Romelu Lukaku will have a “great season” for Chelsea after a season of injury, rumour and controversy.
Lukaku, 29, re-joined Chelsea last summer, arriving from Inter for the reported sum of £97.5m and becoming the most expensive transfer in the West London club’s history.
The Belgian striker rose to prominence for Anderlecht in 2010, securing the Belgian Pro League title before joining Chelsea for the first time. Since that point he’s become the player with the most cumulative transfer fees spent, with clubs such as Inter, Manchester United and Everton spending almost £285m on him.
With over 200 career goals, it’s no surprise that some of Europe’s best sides have been willing to part with so much for him but Lukaku hasn’t found his time at Stamford Bridge as easy as he would’ve hoped.
The striker has made it clear that he’d prefer a return to Serie A with Inter Milan and scoring just eight Premier League goals in his first season back has certainly made those in the Chelsea hierarchy consider whether they would be better off cutting their losses and striking a deal with I Nerazzurri.
A key figure at the club has spoken out in favour of Lukaku and his prospect at the club. Petr Cech, former goalkeeper and current technical and performance advisor for Chelsea, has thrown his support behind the struggling frontman.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Cech said “I personally believe Romelu Lukaku will have a great season.
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“Last season we saw how strong he can be when he came. Unfortunately, the long term injury he sustained against Villa slowed everything down, and then he had Covid-19 as well.
“We could see towards the end of the season when Romelu Lukaku was fit and ready to go how strong he is. We had a peculiar season with the Covid-19 issues around Christmas. He was one of those players affected.
“I have full confidence Romelu Lukaku will bounce back and have a strong season.”
Those are certainly words that could encourage Lukaku to extend his stay in the Premier League and it’s by no means guaranteed that Inter and Chelsea will be able to strike a deal to bring the marksman back to the San Siro.
Rumours have been circulating that Inter will have to offload some players in order to bring in fresh faces but Inter boss, Simeone Inzaghi is known to still be an admirer of Lukaku.
Another option for the misfiring striker is a move across London to Arsenal. Ex-Arsenal midfielder, Paul Merson has had his say and thinks it would be a great move for both player and club.
“Arsenal should make a cheeky £60m bid for Romelu Lukaku this summer. Because if Chelsea are so desperate to let him go that they’re talking about loaning him to Inter Milan, surely they would take the money!
“Arsenal haven’t had someone who is big and strong and dynamic like that since Kevin Campbell. I know he hasn’t scored a lot of goals this season but Lukaku is an elite goalscorer. Arsenal play great football up to the edge of the box but then it often fizzles out.
“Arsenal may not be in the Champions League next season, but Inter are not winning it are they? Let’s be honest. Players choose these places because it’s easy. He knows he would score bundles of goals in Italy because it’s a doddle. He’d be playing against teams that will lie down.
“The Premier League is not like that. It’s hard enough to score against Norwich. But Lukaku would score goals for Arsenal. If he wants to be, Lukaku could still be a world beater. But it’s all down to him. Does he want to be a world beater? I don’t know. Only he can answer that.”