Ben Foster insisted Romelu Lukaku is one of the kindest men in football and that he was delighted to see his Chelsea move materialise.
Speaking on the JaackMaate’s Happy Hour Podcast, the Watford goalkeeper expressed his uttermost respect towards Lukaku as a player and person.
Foster and the Belgian shared a dressing room for a season in 2012/13, whilst the latter was on loan at West Bromwich Albion from Chelsea.
Eight years later and the two have trodden very different career paths, but have both ended up back in the Premier League where they originally met.
Lukaku’s journey has now come full circle after the Blues sealed his signature last month in a club-record transfer.
His return to Stamford Bridge took a slight detour, passing by Everton, Manchester United and Inter Milan en route.
Whilst perhaps not as glamourous, Foster also recently re-joined one of his former clubs.
He signed for Watford in 2018, over a decade after representing the Hornets for two successive spells.
In between, the ‘keeper spent seven years at West Brom, the first of which where he linked up with Lukaku.
Tales of Rom
“Romelu honestly was one of the nicest blokes you will honestly meet, I’m not just saying that,” said Foster.
“He is one of the nicest guys. When he signed on loan for us (West Brom), he was at Chelsea at the time, I’d say for the first half of the season he struggled to find his feet a little bit.
“But everybody could just see he was going to be a monster. You could just tell he was going to be an absolute joke of a player.
“Physically he was incredible. He just needed to get into the rhythm of it.
“Second of the season, my gosh he just exploded. He would start every single game and ragdoll defenders; he would be manhandling and bullying them.”
In that solo campaign with the Baggies, Lukaku netted 17 league goals in 38 appearances.
Just to put into context, no West Brom player since has matched that tally in a single top-flight term.
From a boy to a Blue
“What a guy,” continued Foster.
“I’m so happy to see him do really well after what happened to him at Man United.
“Man United will never sign a player and then tailor it around that player, they will always play the Man United way.
“Whereas every other team he’s been successful at they’ve basically gone ‘right, we’ve got Romelu Lukaku. Let’s just play to his strengths and play around him.’
“I think he will be massive at Chelsea.”
Foster’s foresight must’ve been pretty strong because Lukaku certainly has transformed into a defender’s nightmare.
Just ask the Arsenal centre-backs, who were the test dummies for the striker’s second debut at Chelsea.
Many more will face the wrath of the Blues no.9, so long as the minor thigh injury he is getting assessed isn’t too serious.