Chelsea have confirmed the return of Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku from Inter for a club-record fee.
Ten years after his first move to Stamford Bridge back in 2011, Lukaku was quickly identified as one of Chelsea’s preferred targets in their search for a superstar striker alongside Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, whose £150m price tag proved to be too much for the Blues.
Attention turned back to Lukaku, whom Inter had insisted was untouchable earlier this summer, but the striker’s determination to return to Stamford Bridge saw them accept a bid of £97.5m from Chelsea.
He was initially scheduled to undergo a medical last week, but various delays prevented Lukaku from heading to Stamford Bridge and finalising things until now.
It’s taken a little longer than expected, but Chelsea have now taken to their official website to confirm that Lukaku is back for round two of his career at the Bridge.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Lukaku said: “I’m happy and blessed to be back at this wonderful club. It’s been a long journey for me: I came here as a kid who had a lot to learn, now I’m coming back with a lot of experience and more mature.
“The relationship I have with this club means so much to me, as you know. I have supported Chelsea as a kid and now to be back and try to help them win more titles is an amazing feeling.
“The way the club is going fits my ambitions perfectly at 28 and just coming off winning Serie A. I think this opportunity comes at the right time and hopefully we can have a lot of success together.”
He added: “Since I left Chelsea, it’s been a long journey with a lot of ups and downs, but these experiences made me strong and the challenge is to try to help the team win some more trophies. I can’t wait to get started and to help the club achieve more success.”
Lukaku is actually still waiting for his first goal in Chelsea blue. He managed 15 appearances for the club during his first stint but never managed to find the back of the net, and his last kick of a ball for the club was a missed penalty in the 2013 Super Cup defeat to Bayern Munich.
He did, however, go on to bag 113 Premier League goals across 252 appearances with West Brom, Everton and Manchester United – enough to leave him 20th on the league’s all-time scoring charts.
Thomas Tuchel will hope to see Lukaku sore up those standings over the coming years and finally provide Chelsea with a bona-fide goal threat in attack.
Lukaku is not expected to make his debut in Saturday’s Premier League opener against Crystal Palace but could see his first taste of action in the derby against Arsenal a week later.