Rough Diamonds #5-Romelu Lukaku


He had a dream. Now his dream has been fulfilled. A glance at the hulking frame of Romelu Lukaku and an immediate comparison to his idol, Didier Drogba springs to mind for the more casual observers. This is correct in terms of the strength and technique that both players possess but while Drogba is at the peak of his powers albeit approaching the twilight years of his career, Lukaku is far from the finished article and there is real scope for development.

Lukaku can often appear a peripheral figure in a match, moving without any influence only to spring to life in particular moments and gain the plaudits. Sometimes such a spell of being peripheral in a match context can last more than one game but at any moment, Lukaku can produce something brilliant and it’s this that belies the idea that Lukaku has such great potential. Lukaku has the potential to impose himself on a game much more and while he can have his games of unquestionable brilliance, if he were to become more consistent and confident enough to impose himself on a game for longer sustained periods then he could become a colossal talent on the world stage.
Lukaku possesses a sometimes unfathomable turn of pace for his physique and this is something that will hold him in good stead for the demands of the English Premier League. His aerial ability combined with his strength makes him an ideal target man if need be as illustrated by his regular deployment in such a role for Anderlecht.
Now he has moved on from home there will of course be questions as to adaptation and a timescale on his development. Surrounding himself with the experienced and highly talented players at Chelsea will only be of benefit to him and it’s hoped such a move will push his game up a level. As to whether it is too early for him to have made this move, it’s open to debate. Some observers naturally feel a gradual progression in external pressure and perceived league standards would aid a continuous development. Nonetheless, Lukaku’s dream has come true a lot quicker than many thought and while there is a considerable price-tag now resting on the young man’s shoulders, it’s not as if the shoulders aren’t considerable enough to handle it. It’s going to be a matter of intrigue as to how Andre Villas-Boas uses him this season as while he is seen to be Drogba’s natural successor, Drogba has not quite finished yet and there is also the sizeable presence of Fernando Torres in the pecking order. Of course if he can make a big early impression then there’s every chance he could assume the mantle of Chelsea’s top striker a lot quicker than many may think possible. However, it may be more of a thought that he’ll take the road that some observers were mentioned as stating earlier but instead, a gradual progression at the club itself rather than the stepping stone approach to his career path.
Belgium is undergoing a reinvention process that is believed to be close to fruition as the potential talent available to the national team is significant and should this new generation be able to avoid the trap of failure created by hype, then they could well surpass the highly-regarded generation of Diables Rouges in the 1980s. Lukaku has been made the poster boy for this generation and has already been capped on nine occasions by the senior national team. Now he’s plying his trade for one of the most powerful clubs in Europe, Lukaku is on the cusp of superstardom. 

Andrew Harding (

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