EXCLUSIVE: The place pleasure at Man United is off the dimensions after Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Outdated Trafford, Romelu Lukaku has already bagged three objectives in his Chelsea encore
Aa Didier Drogba’s inheritor obvious, Romelu Lukaku was as soon as as uncooked as steak tartare or sushi.
However Chelsea legend Joe Cole believes the Belgian striker’s second coming at Stamford Bridge is “nice enterprise” at £97.5million – and will hearth them to a different Champions League crown.
The place pleasure at Manchester United is off the dimensions after Cristiano Ronaldo ’s return to Outdated Trafford, Lukaku has already bagged three objectives in his encore on Fulham Broadway.
And three-time title winner Cole believes Chelsea’s document signing – of a participant they bought for £18m seven years in the past – leaves them outfitted to “stand shoulder to shoulder with the giants of Europe” once more.
The Blues open their Champions League defence in opposition to Zenit Saint Petersburg tonight and BT Sport pundit Cole expects proprietor Roman Abramovich and Lukaku to be Two Rommies who benefit from the final chuckle.
He mentioned: “Earlier than the season, everybody knew Chelsea had been available in the market for a No.9 – and realistically, there have been solely 5 names who had been going to chop it.
“You’re looking at Lewandowski, Haaland, Mbappe, Ronaldo and Lukaku, all of them within the very prime bracket.
“None of them comes low-cost as a result of they’re the perfect within the enterprise, however while you break it down, and take a look at the attributes Chelsea wanted, Lukaku was an amazing piece of enterprise.
“We’re speaking a couple of confirmed goalscorer, who’s 28 and on the peak of his powers. The whole package deal – tempo, energy, nice within the air, a finisher, the lot.
“Why did he depart Chelsea within the first place? You possibly can have the identical dialog about Kevin De Bruyne and Mo Salah, however there’s no thriller about Lukaku coming again to the membership.
“If you end up the champions of Europe, to defend your title you want the perfect gamers – proper right here, proper now, not subsequent week or subsequent 12 months.
“You possibly can’t be like Tottenham or Arsenal, taking over gamers at 21 or 22 and trying to develop them over a number of years – Chelsea want that firepower now.
“When he seems again on the finish of his profession, possibly Romelu will settle for he wasn’t prepared to guide the road for Chelsea eight or 9 years in the past, and that he wanted to make that journey spherical the homes to launch his potential.
“However that is the appropriate time for him to tackle the duty, and he’ll give Chelsea that further 4 or 5 p.c which might assist them win the Champions League once more.”
Cole says supervisor Thomas Tuchel, who stepped in halfway by final season and led Chelsea to their second Champions League triumph, has been “faultless” in his method to this point.
The German has misplaced solely 5 of his 35 video games in cost – two of them on the tail finish of final season when the title was gone – and Cole added: “Exterior Jose Mourinho’s first spell on the membership, no one has are available and made such a big effect at Chelsea as Tuchel.
“He has been completely faultless. He’s already a Chelsea legend and a Champions League winner – now he must put the ending touches to the masterpiece.
“We’re heading into one other golden age of Premier League soccer the place the title race is a battle between three or 4 golf equipment – and English golf equipment dominate in Europe.”
* BT Sport is the unique dwelling of UEFA Champions League soccer. Watch each recreation of the 2021/22 competitors stay on TV, on-line and on the BT Sport app. Go to btsport.com