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Petr Cech explains why it didn’t work out for Romelu Lukaku during his first spell at Chelsea


Petr Cech believes Lukaku is now ready to play a key part at Stamford Bridge (Picture: Getty)

Petr Cech believes inexperience and world class competition were two of the main reasons Romelu Lukaku failed to make it at Chelsea during his first spell at the club.

Lukaku left Chelsea for Everton at the age of 21 but returned to west London this summer in a club-record £100million move following a successful spell with Inter Milan under the tutelage of Antonio Conte. 

The Belgian scored on his second debut during Chelsea’s comfortable 2-0 win over Arsenal last month and he will hope to increase his goals tally at home to Aston Villa this weekend.

It appears Lukaku may have to pass a late fitness test, though, with the striker revealing he had been struggling with a minor thigh issue during the international break.

Cech, who was part of the Chelsea squad during Lukaku’s first time at the club, has pinpointed why it didn’t work out for him beforehand.

‘When you start playing at the age of 16 years old in a top professional league like the Belgian one and you start scoring goals, it obviously shows that you have a talent and some potential,’ he told Chelsea FC.

‘When he moved to Chelsea, he had the disadvantage at that time that Didier Drogba was at the full peak of his form and his ability. Didier was scoring goals and we knew exactly how to use him.

Lukaku is hoping to add more goals to the already star-studded Chelsea squad (Picture: Getty)

‘When Romelu arrived at Chelsea, his hold-up game was not the same as it is now, because at Anderlecht he was used to concentrating on running. He would get the ball and kill everybody with speed, power and his finishing. At Chelsea at that time, we used the number nine in a slightly different way for the hold-up play, and also it’s a more challenging league than Belgium.

‘He needed a little bit of time to adapt, his career took a different path and he’s been successful everywhere he’s been. Over the years he has obviously improved and you can see when he talks that he was conscious about needing to improve this part of his game.

The former Premier League stopper, who is now Chelsea’s current technical and performance advisor, has praised Lukaku’s rise and believes he is now ready to become a key player at Stamford Bridge. 

‘And he’s done it, so that is credit to him, and we are delighted to have him back. He knows what he’s coming in to and probably has a little bit of unfinished business here which he can nicely complete if everything goes the way we all wish,’ he added.

‘Everybody’s path is different and it shows that if things are not working at the beginning, you should not dismiss any opportunities or different pathways.’

Chelsea will be hoping to continue their solid start to the Premier League campaign when they play host to Aston Villa on Saturday, before a clash against Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg in the opening round of the Champions League the following Tuesday. 


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