Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku was thrilled after playing a starring role in his side’s 2-0 victory over Arsenal, describing his performance on his debut as ‘dominant’.
The Belgian, who joined from Inter in a £97.5m deal earlier in August, wasted little time in getting going on Sunday, bagging his first goal for the club inside 15 minutes as he finished off a cross from Reece James, and he continued to bully the Arsenal centre-backs all game long.
Lukaku was the clear difference-maker between the two sides, and after the game, he was more than happy to receive the praise his performance deserved.
When asked to describe his own performance, Lukaku said (via Sky Sports): “Dominant, I would say. I try to improve every time, I have a long way to go, but today was good to win and to start well.
“Now we have to keep working, keep building and keep getting stronger because the Premier League is a very competitive league. We’re ready for the challenge and hopefully we can improve on this.
“You want to work hard for the team, you want to win, you want to score your chances. It’s something I’ve learnt and worked really hard on, and I keep working at it because this team is very talented. They’re the European champions but they want to keep building, I want to keep winning. We have to keep fighting, working hard and keep delivering performances like this.”
Operating as a target man, Lukaku received no fewer than 22 progressive passes during the game, the most in the match and 15 more than second-placed Mason Mount – and it quickly became abundantly clear that manager Thomas Tuchel plans to use the Belgian as the hub of everything Chelsea do.
“I think his profile gives us something we did not have so much,” Tuchel said. “He added some depth to his game, and we can overcome pressing, and play long balls.
“We can also play into him with defenders on his back because he’s a physical player, and we don’t lose our strength in counters as he likes to run into open spaces. He’s a very open and very smart and very friendly person, so it was easy for him to connect with everybody.
“He gives us some more opportunities. It was day one for him now and there is a lot more to come.”