The acquisition of Romelu Lukaku has added yet more firepower to our exciting stable of attacking players, and the striker has been discussing how he expects to link up with his new Chelsea team-mates on the field of play and in the dressing room.
Lukaku’s all-round game is now at such an elite level he should have no problem building an on-pitch rapport with the likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech and Mason Mount. Nonetheless, work is still required to reach the degree of attacking synchronicity that ensures the Blues are more prolific in front of goal this season. Lukaku pinpointed the key to doing just that.
‘A lot is about communication,’ he said.
‘I am a guy who is very open minded. I always ask my team-mates questions: what they want, what they expect from me, where I can help them, where I would like to have the ball. The next couple of weeks it’s very important for me to communicate with all the players around me and be open to their mindset.
‘We have a certain type of playing style here. To me it’s not something I have to develop much because I think with the Belgian national team we play the same system. That’s already a good thing.
‘It’s all about communicating, knowing what they like, knowing their characteristics. I will adapt and find a way I can help the team.’
Off the pitch, Lukaku has cited how much he has matured as a person since his first stint at Stamford Bridge. At 28, he is approaching the peak of his career, and rejoins the Blues as a Serie A winner and with nearly a century of Belgium appearances to his name.
As he considers what he can offer the dressing room, it is clear Lukaku believes his experience will stand him in good stead when it comes to assisting the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, the only remaining member of the squad from his first spell.
‘Azpi is the captain and has been here for many years. He is a great captain. When I was in quarantine, he was already messaging me about where to find houses and stuff. It was like I was never gone. The relationship is still intact, and also with the rest of the boys.
‘There are many players with big personalities in this dressing room. I like to connect everybody and make everybody feel comfortable around me, and give them confidence. The players in this dressing room are worthy to be Chelsea players and they showed that last season.
‘This dressing room has a lot of personality, which is what I like. It’s good to be back. As a footballer you fight to achieve your dreams. I am here now, and I can’t wait to be on the pitch and perform with my team-mates.’