LUKAKU: THE FIRST INTERVIEW
Romelu Lukaku has completed his transfer from Anderlecht and will be available for selection for Saturday's game.
The new striker will wear the number 18 shirt and having signed a five-year contract, he has given an exclusive first interview to the official Chelsea website.
The 18-year-old striker has already scored twice in 10 appearances for the senior Belgium team, and was on international duty this week he played 60 minutes in their goalless away draw with Slovenia.
Since making his club debut when just 16, Lukaku, the son of a former Zaire international, Roger, has averaged nearly a goal every two games and scored 16 times in 37 league games last season.
A Chelsea supporter, he also visited Stamford Bridge on a school trip two years ago, and explains just how excited he is to pull on the blue shirt.
How does it feel to be sat here as a Chelsea player?
Amazing. It's a dream come true. I dreamed to play here since I was 10 years old, thinking about shaking hands with all those players like John Terry and Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, it's amazing to arrive here in a big club with big ambition. It was just what I was searching for.
What made you interested in Chelsea to begin with?
I watched the Premier League since I was nine. Every weekend I watched the games, I used to watch Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scoring goals and remember one against Manchester United, the volley at Old Trafford, and I decided I wanted to support this team.
You've been compared to Didier Drogba a lot, what do you make of that?
It's nice, I like it a lot. We have similar playing styles, but I am also very fast. I want to learn off him how it is to play here at the Bridge and how to prepare for games. I can also learn off the other strikers and experienced players in the squad. I think if you are clever on and off the pitch you will get accepted and that's what I want.
What are your other strengths, and weaknesses?
I am quite a clinical finisher, with my right or my left foot, but I try to improve myself every day and like to do individual training after sessions to improve myself continuously. It's very important for a young guy to improve in training and to show the coach that if he needs him he is ready. I can improve everything, technique, speed, faster, my finishing can be better. I just want to help the team to win games and first of all for me as a young players I need to learn from the other guys.
You already have good experience for an 18-year-old...
Yes, it was a good experience to play in Belgium but I wanted to take a big step to join a big club and I said from day one that I wanted to go to Chelsea. To be here now is so good, there are guys with a lot of experience at international level and they won everything, but I didn't, I don't have the same feeling as them. I just want to win something so I am very hungry to start with these guys.
We didn't win anything last season, so this year there is pressure on the club to lift a trophy...
I understand there is a lot of pressure on the team but with the players that we have, so much experience and so much talent, and with a great boss also, you can see that we can be confident we can make a successful season.
You've been to Stamford Bridge before...
We were with school and we had three days off in London to visit a lot of museums. I didn't know we were visiting the Bridge so I was quite shocked. I was 16, and already playing with Anderlecht. It was just after the season finished and I bought a shirt with my name on. I wanted to feel like a normal kid and to show the kids in my class they could accept me, that I was just a normal human being. That's why I finished school also and I am very happy about that.
And you had more exams recently?
Yes, I had my Baccalaureate. I did public relations and it was very difficult. I had 12 exams and it was also the play-offs in the Belgian league at the same time, with my exams in the middle but I made it and I am very happy about it.
You're one of a number of exciting young Belgian talents. We signed another in Thibaut Courtois recently, how much do you know about him?
I know Thibaut, he is a very good friend of mine and we played against each other since we were 13 years old when he was at Genk and I was in Anderlecht. I remember one game we played we won 4-0 and I scored four times. Sometimes we still laugh about that, but I am happy we are in the same team because he is a very good goalkeeper who is very calm and I hope he will get a good season on loan in Atletico.
What will be your targets for yourself in the coming season?
First of all I just want to learn and train as much as possible to improve myself and show the coach that when he needs me I am ready. Then I hope to make minutes for the team and be helpful for the team, because the team is the most important thing. If you think positively about the team it will be positive for you.