Transfer news

Chelsea complete Lukaku signing

August 18, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Romelu Lukaku has finally completed his move Chelsea from Anderlecht.

Romelu Lukaku
PA PhotosRomelu Lukaku has finally completed his dream move to Stamford Bridge

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Belgium striker Lukaku, 18, has long been rated as one of the finest young talents in Europe and attracted interest from Real Madrid and Manchester City, among other clubs, but as a Chelsea fan it was always thought most likely he would move to Stamford Bridge.

A fee with Anderlecht was agreed earlier this month and the player arrived in London for his medical over a week ago, but only now have the formalities of the deal been completed.

"It's a dream come true," he told the club's official website. "I dreamed to play here since I was ten 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."

Lukaku is expected to challenge Drogba and Fernando Torres for the central position in Andre Villas-Boas' three-man attack and has often been touted as a potential successor to Drogba.

Lukaku said: "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.

"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 player I need to learn from the other guys."

He added: "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."

Chelsea have already signed one Belgian in goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who has since been loaned to Atletico Madrid.

"I know Thibaut," Lukaku said. "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."