An “in-form” Romelu Lukaku may still be of use to Chelsea, says Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, but a permanent parting of ways looks to be inevitable.
WHAT HAPPENED? The Blues splashed out a club-record £98 million ($119m) transfer fee on returning the Belgium international striker to Stamford Bridge from Serie A giants Inter in the summer of 2021. Things did not play out as planned, though, for the 29-year-old frontman and, despite hitting 15 goals, he retraced steps to San Siro on an initial loan agreement 12 months on from arriving in west London.
WHAT THEY SAID: Chelsea have experimented with other striking options since turning their back on Lukaku, with Kai Havertz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also failing to convince, and more moves are now being made to bolster the attacking ranks at Stamford Bridge. Former Blues striker Hasselbaink has told Betway when asked if there could be any way back for a big-money No.9: “An in-form Lukaku could be a good force for Chelsea, but if he’s not right and not willing then it’s better for him to go. The problem with Romelu Lukaku is that he’s not played much football and has been injured for a while at Inter Milan. I think he’s said that he doesn’t want to be at Chelsea and when a player says that, the club has no choice.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: One of those that Chelsea are looking to bring in is Portugal international forward Joao Felix, with a loan deal close to being finalised with Atletico Madrid. Hasselbaink added on that move: “Arsenal don’t need Joao Felix, they need a different kind of profile. Man United need an out-and-out striker, they have enough wingers and Chelsea are more in need but it depends which position they see him playing in. Chelsea need to do business across the whole front three and they need also do business in midfield so Joao Felix would suit Chelsea most.”
IN THREE PHOTOS: