Chelsea flop who ‘cost a fortune’ could ‘still have a future’ if he goes about things correctly

Romelu Lukaku, Belgium, March 2021 Credit: Alamy
Romelu Lukaku, Belgium, March 2021 Credit: Alamy

Glen Johnson feels £98million Chelsea flop Romelu Lukaku “could still have a future” at the club if he can “knuckle down and show he wants to be there”.

Lukaku’s history with the Blues is an interesting one. At the end of his first spell at the club he’d hardly played in the first team, but had shown he was Premier League quality through a successful loan spell at West Brom.

Eight years passed between his first and second spells at Stamford Bridge. In the time he had spent away from the club, Lukaku became a top striker, scoring goals at big clubs such as Manchester United, Inter Milan and for Belgium at international level.

Indeed, while he was with Inter – the side he joined Chelsea from in 2022 – he was directly involved in 80 goals in 95 games.

The season prior to his £98million move, the Belgian bagged 24 Serie A goals alongside 10 assists from 36 games. As such, the Blues seemingly got themselves a deadly striker back.

However, their marquee signing managed just eight goals in 26 games and an explosive interview signalled he wanted out.

Indeed, he essentially admitted he wanted to be back at Inter rather than playing for Chelsea. He got his wish in the summer, moving back to his former side on loan.

With that loan running out at the end of the season, it remains to be seen where he’ll end up.

Johnson feels Lukaku could have Chelsea ‘future’

After a poor showing last season, it wouldn’t be crazy to assume the Blues don’t want him back. However, former Chelsea man Johnson feels he could still have a place in the side if he returns with the right attitude.

“It’ll all depend on what the manager sees in pre-season and what he sees from Romelu Lukaku at Inter Milan from now until the end of the season,” he said.

“If he comes back and plays like he did before, then he will be going straight back out the door to somewhere else.

“However, if he comes back with the bit between his teeth and he really wants to work hard, knuckle down and show everybody that he wants to be there, then he could still have a future at Chelsea.”

Money a big factor in decision

Money could play a big factor in the decision to keep or sell Lukaku. Johnson believes because they’ve spent so much money on him, the Stamford Bridge side will want him to come back and perform so that hasn’t been wasted.

“He’s already cost Chelsea a fortune, so it’s in everybody’s best interests for Romelu to work out at Chelsea. If he comes back with the bit between his teeth, then I believe Chelsea would love to give him a chance,” he added.

However, with a lot of inbound transfers of late, they might benefit from making some money. While Lukaku won’t sell for the £98million he was bought for given his output since then, he should still command a decent sum.

Chelsea might simply want to cut their losses and make some decent money in order to get rid.

They’d then be able to invest in some other quality options. Considering the amount of players they’ve signed in the past couple of windows, that’s likely what they’ll want to do.

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