Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku was in sensational form this season, as his 17 goals in 35 appearances helped West Brom achieve an eighth-place finish in the table with 49 points, their highest points tally in the Premier League era.
Lukaku impressed as a teenager for his childhood club Anderlecht, and scored 41 goals in 98 appearances for the Belgian club. He seemed to have convinced Chelsea that he could be the new ‘Didier Drogba’ and the Blues spent £10 million for his services in August 2011.
However, the Belgium international was not given a chance to impress in Chelsea’s cup double season, making just 12 appearances in total. In order to give him more playing time, he was loaned out to West Brom at the start of this season.
His time at the Hawthorns has been nothing short of sensational, and he was the sixth top scorer in the league with 17 strikes, including a final day hat-trick against champions Manchester United. After the season finished, there has been speculation that West Brom would want nothing more than to keep the prolific forward for another season as they will have a serious hole in their squad without him.
However, Lukaku has other plans in mind, and hopes to stay with Chelsea next season. According to Metro, West Brom’s chances of another season-long loan deal for Lukaku have faded with the club looking for other forwards to fill his boots.
Lukaku can now focus on his return to Chelsea at the start of next season as he targets becoming an integral member of the squad after showing his potential at West Brom. Statistics show that he has had a better season than the two Blues’ strikers combined, as Fernando Torres and Demba Ba could only muster a meagre 10 goals which pales in comparison to Lukaku’s 17.
With Jose Mourinho set to return as Chelsea boss, Lukaku believes that his Drogba-esque style of play could make him the number 1 striker for Mourinho. However, his playing time could yet be limited, if Chelsea are successful in bringing a big name striker like Wayne Rooney or Edison Cavani this summer.