Former Chelsea assistant manager Eddie Newton, who was in charge of developing and running the loan system during his time at Stamford Bridge revealed that Romelu Lukaku needed to come out of Chelsea and improve his craft elsewhere. The Belgian striker rejoined the Blues over the summer from Inter.
Romelu Lukaku established himself as one of the best young players of his generation during his spell at Anderlecht, and Chelsea moved swiftly to sign the teenager in 2011. The Belgian striker failed to find his footing at the London club and was subsequently loaned to West Brom and Everton. The 28-year-old sealed a permanent switch to Goodison Park where he scored 104 goals across three campaigns with the Merseyside club. His prolificacy captured the attention of various top cubs and ultimately Manchester United swooped in to sign the Belgian for a reported fee of £75 million in 2017.
The Belgian adapted quickly and resumed his scoring form but he was ultimately considered expendable as a result of which he was sold to Inter in 2019. Working with Antonio Conte helped Lukaku immensely as he meticulously improved on his weaknesses and strengths. Under the Italian, Lukaku scored 64 goals in 95 appearances for the Italian club and led them to Scudetto glory last season. The 28-year-old sealed a return to the club he left a decade ago as Chelsea added the Belgian to their squad over the summer. Lukaku has already hit the ground running as he has recorded four goals to his name already. Eddie Newton who worked with Lukaku in his first spell at Stamford Bridge revealed why the Belgian struggled in his first spell with Chelsea and how he has improved since.
"I think he needed to come out of Chelsea and learn his craft elsewhere, which he did on loan at West Brom. My former team-mate Steve Clarke was looking after him. It was well documented and he will say it himself: he had the power and pace, and when he was younger he got away with blowing people away with his physicality, outrunning people in behind and scoring that goal. When he got to the top level, he couldn’t do it as much anymore. He hadn’t developed how to play with his back to goal. Every time the ball came to him, a defender would get tight and it would bounce off him,” Newton told Goal.
“He gave it away a lot and it was frustrating. He is now back at Chelsea, more mature and a senior player who can play with his back to goal and score. He is now ready to complete that journey and fair play to him. A lot of hard work went into where he is now," he added.