Record signing Romelu Lukaku says he has returned to Chelsea as a more “complete” player.
Chelsea spent a reported £97.5million to re-sign the striker, who previously joined as an 18-year-old from Anderlecht in 2011, from Inter.
Lukaku enjoyed spells with West Brom, Everton and Manchester United before impressing at Inter with 24 goals in Serie A last term to secure their first title in 11 years.
The 28-year-old spent two seasons in Serie A, notching 64 goals across all competitions as he quickly became Antonio Conte’s main man in attack.
“I just feel more complete,” Lukaku told the club’s official website on Monday when asked to compare the difference between his two arrivals at Stamford Bridge.
“I’ve tried to master all the facets that a striker needs and I just want to keep improving on the small details all the time and keep improving on my strengths as well.
“It’s not like I’m a new player coming in and not quite knowing what to expect. I know the league, I’ve scored a fair amount of goals here but the past is the past and now we have to look forward.
“I’m a new version of that player from before. I’ve evolved and the team that I’m joining is a very strong team so now we just have to prove it on the pitch by challenging for the Premier League.”
In the building!
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While Chelsea were without Lukaku on Saturday, but cruised to a 3-0 win in their Premier League opener against Crystal Palace.
Timo Werner touched the ball just 29 times in 90 minutes – the fewest of any Chelsea outfield starter – but Thomas Tuchel admitted said the game Lukaku’s arrival is good news for the former RB Leipzig man.
From Tuchel’s appointment until the end of last term, the Blues only netted 38 goals across all competitions, a figure hampered by Werner converting just 7.59 per cent of his 79 top-flight attempts, while also finishing only five of his 23 ‘big’ chances..
Lukaku, in comparison, ranks fourth for shot conversion in Europe’s top five leagues since joining Inter in August 2019, scoring 24.2 per cent of chances that have come his way.
Lukaku could feature with Werner for the trip to Arsenal on Sunday and the Belgium international spoke of his excitement over working with Tuchel.
“The conversation was really clear from him [Tuchel], that he wants me to be a presence and a leader in the team,” Lukaku continued. “I have to just use all my abilities to make sure I can help the team as much as possible.
“I’m a leader but I’m also more of a gel person, making sure that everybody feels comfortable and confident. That’s the way I lead.
“I like the system that we play and I’m very flexible. I can play as a two or by myself and I’m used to the system because it’s what we play with the Belgian national team so I don’t need much time to adapt.
“It’s just knowing the strengths of my team-mates in important positions and knowing what we do off the ball, then I can do the rest.”