‘Another level’: National team manager thinks Chelsea player has entered peak of his career
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez claims that Chelsea ace Romelu Lukaku has gone up “another level” to reach the peak years of his career.
Lukaku, who returned to Stamford Bridge in the summer, is back in the Premier League with Chelsea after re-signing from Inter Milan.
Aged 28, the centre-forward is at a stage where traditionally a lot of players reach their peak. However, someone like Manchester United’s 36-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo is a shining example of how to stay at the top for 15 years.
Lukaku has scored 30-plus goals in each of the last two seasons at Inter, so based off Martinez’s comments Chelsea fans can expect much more of the same from him this year.
Belgium’s national team boss has given a rave review of the £97.5million striker:
“Romelu is an exceptional goalscorer. And now we see a player in the peak of his career who has added part of his game: hold-up play, well-timed runs, taking responsibility in dead ball situations in both boxes. It affects players around him,” Martinez told Eurosport.
“He took his awareness to another level – we’ve seen the relationship between Thierry Henry and Romleu Lukaku.
“Romelu can get that bit of advice [from Henry] or share thoughts with someone who was expected to make the final pass of the ball into the net, and the expectations that come along. It’s helpful in key moments of your career, especially when representing your national team.”
Lukaku already a Belgium legend
Lukaku is Belgium’s all-time top goalscorer by an absolute landslide, so deserves to be spoken about as one of their greats.
The left-footed forward has a phenomenal record of 67 goals in 100 caps for his country, while second place belongs to ex-Blues attacker Eden Hazard (33).
Martinez has been able to work alongside him on the international stage for several years and will have watched his development very closely.
It does feel like Chelsea now have the Lukaku that is the finished article.
He’s netted four goals in nine appearances this season and will be looking to build on that with some favourable fixtures just around the corner.
Chelsea need Lukaku to win title
Chelsea are top of the Premier League table after seven games, but to stay there is going to be a tough ask given the level of competition this season.
If Thomas Tuchel’s side are to win the league crown, they need their striker banging them in.
Lukaku is capable of scoring a hatful and he’s going to need to do that because there aren’t many others in the squad that will hit double figures.
Chris Sutton is confident the Belgian can “make the difference” at Stamford Bridge, so it’ll be intriguing to see how that plays out.
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