Are We Reading Too Much into Lukaku's Everton Comments?
Everton TV Reporter: Do you want an Everton win this weekend (against Chelsea)?
Lukaku: Yes, I have to be honest.
These quotes are taken from a interview loan striker Romelu Lukaku made earlier today, and have provoked a mass discontent amongst many supporters. The memories of Benayoun celebrating Arsenal’s victory against Chelsea whilst on loan there have returned, and many supporters are unhappy with Lukaku’s comments. Are we being too harsh on him? Or did he say what he should’ve said?
First of all, it must be noted on how horrible a question it was from the interviewer. Lukaku was placed in a position of damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. If he says he doesn’t want Everton to win this weekend, Everton supporters – the supporters he is there to please this season – will question his commitment to the cause. He is, after all, there for the remainder of the season, and it is natural for any player to want their current team to win. Saying what he said though, hasn’t really endeared him to the Chelsea faithful.
Lukaku though, whilst being a big follower of Chelsea before his move, is often said to be a little unhappy with his time at Chelsea so far. Neglected first year, sent away on loan the second where he tore up the league, before then returning to what was expected to a slot in the starting XI, after all, he’d outperformed the other options whenever he played. No. Despite what I thought, and what Romelu thought, he wasn’t going to be Chelsea’s number 1 striker this season, he wasn’t going to be a Chelsea striker this season. With concerns over how much game time he’d get, the Chelsea hierarchy obviously decided it would be best for Romelu’s development to get a season of regular first team football elsewhere than the occasional outing and off the bench appearance for us.
He didn’t celebrate with the Champions League trophy because he didn’t feature in the campaign, so he didn’t feel like part of the winning team. A bit of a moody response, should’ve taken a leaf out of Todd Kane’s book and just party with the team. So is he feeling aggrieved with Chelsea? Possibly, I don’t think a loan was what he had in mind for this season, although the promise of greater game time for his development would have persuaded him to go through with the loan. Lukaku is still 20, one for the future, and more game time will help him develop much more. If he can bang in plenty of goals this season, he can go to the World Cup, tear it all up for Belgium and then return to Chelsea. Much better than the frustration of starting behind Ba, that’s for sure. That frustration is now the one for the fans.
Despite what is being speculated, I don’t believe Lukaku is making the comments due to grievances over his time at Chelsea, I think they were more to please the Everton supporters. Lukaku didn’t make the move because he wanted to leave Chelsea. He wasn’t going to get the game time he’d like for his development and for a way to start ahead of Benteke for Belgium. I think, if he does well at Everton, this will be his last loan spell away from Chelsea. With the prospect of their being no Eto’o when he returns, and Torres with only one year left on his contract, space looks to be opening for him. Lukaku knows his long term future is at the club he loves, Chelsea.
As for reading too much into it, I certainly think we are. With a lack of genuine and interesting news that always accompanies the international breaks, I think we are all just bored so overreacting to some comments is the best way to entertain ourselves. Lukaku is a professional, we must remember that. He wants the club he plays for to win, and at the moment he is playing for Everton. Every player wants the club they play for to win, otherwise they wouldn’t be there now would they?
As I’ve said, we are overreacting. Cut the young man some slack.