Lukaku details chats with Drogba prior to Chelsea return
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Former Premier League striker Marcus Bent has suggested that Chelsea were fleeced by Inter Milan as they completed the signing of Romelu Lukaku during the summer transfer window. Blues director Marina Granovskaia negotiated a club-record £97.5million fee to land the Belgian, who is widely regarded as one of the planet’s most feared attackers.
He made an immediate impact on his second debut for Chelsea, scoring within 20 minutes on the way to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Lukaku then drew a blank against Liverpool but went on to score three goals for Belgium in their recent wins over Estonia and the Czech Republic.
He was identified by Granovskaia and Thomas Tuchel as the missing piece of the jigsaw at Chelsea during the summer, with the Blues lacking an out-and-out goalscorer last season.
The 28-year-old initially looked set to stay at Inter but ultimately returned to Stamford Bridge on a five-year deal after Chelsea smashed their transfer record to bring him back.
However, Bent, who played for a number of Premier League clubs during his professional career, has warned the European champions that they may have paid over the odds to land the forward.
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He told Football FanCast that Lukaku does not have the goalscoring record to justify his price tag, but insisted that he will be a revelation at Chelsea as they look to mount a renewed Premier League title challenge.
“Let’s look at his stats. Does that live up to it? I don’t feel like it does,” said Bent.
“But there you go, that’s football, and that’s how it happens and good luck to him.
“He probably will do well because Chelsea are doing well, they’ve got a good manager, they’ve got good players.
“As long as they feed him the ball and he gets in the right positions, I’m sure he will be one of the top players.”
It remains to be seen whether Lukaku will be able to match last season’s 30-goal haul at Inter with Chelsea this time around.
He recently admitted that he only left the Italian giants in order to seal a romantic return to the Blues, insisting that his love for the club did not wane after he was sold to Everton back in 2014.
“I was only going to leave Inter Milan for Chelsea,” Lukaku told HLN.
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“Kids love Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United. And Chelsea for me, everyone knows what Chelsea means to me.
“If they ask me, why would I say no? I only realised that Chelsea was serious at the third offer. So it was €100m (£85m), then it was €105m (£90m), and then it went to €110m (£94m).
“Then I knew this is truly serious. I was in a deep hole at Man United. I didn’t want to go behind Inter’s back.
“So after training I went to [Inter boss Simone] Inzaghi’s office. I didn’t want to ruin the atmosphere because I was no longer with my head in Milan. So I asked him: ‘Please find an agreement’.”
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