'Was already messaging me': Lukaku names the Chelsea player he spoke to before he joined the club

Romelu Lukaku revealed that he had been in contact with Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta during his period of quarantine.

Speaking in his first official press conference since returning to Stamford Bridge, Lukaku opened up about his conversations with the Spanish skipper.

Ahead of his club-record move back to Chelsea, the Belgian had to spend a small amount of time in isolation whilst he adhered to covid rules.

During his brief separation from the Blues, he watched on in delight as Thomas Tuchel’s team began their campaign with two victories.

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Not long after they defeated Crystal Palace on the Premier League’s opening weekend, Lukaku was allowed to link up with his teammates.

This was a relatively easy transition for the centre-forward, who knew plenty of the stars from his previous Chelsea stint, or on his travels across England and Europe.

A captains welcome

One man who certainly made him feel at ease was Azpilicueta, who performed his leadership duties expertly whilst speaking to Lukaku.

“Azpi is the captain,” said the Blues’ new no.9.

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“He’s been here for many years and he is a great captain.

“When I was in quarantine, he was already messaging me about where to find houses. It’s like I was never gone.

“The relationship is still intact and also the same for the rest of the boys.”

Azpilicueta and Lukaku would have briefly shared the same Chelsea dressing room once before, following the arrival of the former from Marseille in 2012.

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Whilst the versatile defender has remained a Blue ever since, Lukaku’s whereabouts have been varied.

He went spent the 2012/13 season on loan with West Bromwich Albion.

This was proceeded by another loan spell, this time at Everton, who he eventually signed for permanently in 2014.

Lukaku would face Azpilicueta on numerous occasions for the Baggies, Toffees and Manchester United.

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But now the pair can call each other partners, after over half a decade of calling one another rivals.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.