Romelu Lukaku opens up on ‘painful’ first Chelsea spell

Romelu Lukaku has revealed how he used the setbacks from his first spell at Chelsea to help turn himself into the world-beating striker he is today.

A boyhood Chelsea fan, Lukaku moved to Stamford Bridge from Anderlecht in 2011 but only managed 15 appearances across two seasons, in which he failed to score, and was instead farmed out on loan to West Brom and Everton.

After excelling with the latter, Lukaku earned himself moves to Manchester United and Inter, before landing back at Chelsea this summer in a club-record £97.5m move.

“It was painful and helpful, but I would say more helpful because it gave me the mentality and the mindset that I needed to become the player I am today,” said Lukaku (via the club’s official website). “The team was very good but nobody saw the extra work they did after the training sessions. As an 18-year-old, I saw first-hand every day how much the players worked on their craft.

“That’s when I knew that was what you had to do to become this type of player. I told myself ‘when I’m not playing, this is what I’m going to do’ and it basically just became a lifestyle.”

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