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How Football World Reacts To The Signing of Romelu Lukaku Transfer

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After a summer filled with much speculation, and little progress in Chelsea’s chase for an elite level striker, the Blues have finally got their man. Romelu Lukaku returns for his second act at Stamford Bridge, seven years after being sold to Everton for a then-hefty fee of £30 million.

The Belgian’s value has skyrocketed since 2014, which is no surprise to anyone who closely tracked him all those years ago, as Chelsea had to fork out a reported £97.5 million (€115 million) to bring him back to West London. At first glance the transfer looks quite bloated, even for a player with the stature of Lukaku, but when diving deeper into it, it’s easy to see this transfer might have saved Chelsea quite a fair bit more in the long-run.

First, let’s look at the alternatives to Lukaku. Erling Haaland and Harry Kane. The latter would have cost at least £120-£130 million, is the same age as Lukaku and has far more injury worries attached to his. There’s the caveat of course that Manchester City seem pretty intent on bringing him in to continue their charge towards a fourth league title in five years, as well as the fact that Daniel Levy would never sell to Tottenham’s city rivals.

As for Haaland, it was always going to take the now-infamous ‘crazy bid’ to convince Borussia Dortmund to sell a year before a €75 million release clause kicks in for their prized asset. On top of that, chances are Haaland would have been on circa £400/500,000-a-week in wages, not to mention the commission which would be heading in the direction of his agent Mino Raiola and father Alfie for their involvement in the deal. The transfer would easily cost Chelsea over £200 million (at a minimum), and it could have been significantly more. When compared to these two options, Lukaku at £97.5 million and a reported £350,000-a-week salary doesn’t seem too costly.

Borussia Dortmund's valuation of Haaland proved to be out of reach for Chelsea 

Borussia Dortmund’s valuation of Haaland proved to be out of reach for Chelsea 

Photo by SIPA USA

Another factor to consider is relating to a strategy Chelsea’s recruitment team seem to have settled on in the last couple of years. Instead of looking to cheaper options, as was done in the disastrous 2017 transfer window, the club seem to have operated on an all-or-nothing plan. If top tier options aren’t available, Chelsea seem pleased with either bringing in an academy player to fill a place in the squad or continue with current options.

Previously, Chelsea may have settled on a Dusan Vlahovic or Sasa Kalajdzic at a fraction of the near £100 million it took to prize Lukaku away from Inter, yet although these ‘Plan B’ options are cheaper in the short-term, they can turn out to be more expensive in the long run. If neither Vlahovic or Kalajdzic succeeded, then in a year or two Chelsea would have to dip into the transfer market again. Over two or three attempts of these signings would eventually turn into a more costly expenditure than Lukaku has.

It’s a similar approach to the signing of Ben Chilwell last summer. Although the left-back cost £50 million, the club decided he proved a better, and more reliable investment than any of the cheaper alternatives of Sergi Reguillon, Alex Telles and Nicolas Tagliafico. There are never any guarantees, even with the biggest of transfers, but it looks as if the club have realised the Zappacosta, Emerson and Drinkwater-like signings aren’t worth the immediate £20-30 million in savings.

Chilwell was signed last summer despite cheaper alternatives being available

Chilwell was signed last summer despite cheaper alternatives being available

(Photo by MB Media/Sipa USA)

One other way that the Lukaku signing can be viewed as cheaper than £100 million is the quality he adds to the side. We all know what he’s capable of, having scored 64 goals in two seasons in Italy as well as 113 Premier League goals shared out in his time at West Brom, Everton and Manchester United. This Chelsea team is built for a goal scorer of his ilk, as constant chances are created but rarely converted. It’s a problem that has contributed to the club languishing in top four battles for the last few years, but with Lukaku now added to the side, it should be a safe assumption that Champions League qualification will be guaranteed before the last couple of weeks of the season (that feat hasn’t been achieved by Chelsea since the title-winning year in 2017). The pay out from competing in the Champions League can bring in anywhere from £70 million to £110 million (perhaps even more as the value of TV deals begin to rise) and is a figure that the board rely on as a means of revenue.

sipa_33726493 (2)

Photo by Alexander Demianchuk/TASS/Sipa USA

If Lukaku’s goals will be the difference between Chelsea finishing in the top four or not for the remainder of his time here, then you don’t need me to do the math as to why this deal will turn into a long-term gain. Of course, a circa £100 million transfer comes with expectations that are much higher than just finishing in the top four, but considering Chelsea needed some help from Gareth Bale on the last round of fixtures to ensure they finished there last season, then the sole addition of Lukaku can very well be the difference maker between competing in Europe’s premier competition or not.

It’s important to remember that Lukaku isn’t only being brought in because it was a deal that was financially sensible. The hope, and expectation, is that he will help Chelsea compete for major honours. However, in a time where clubs across Europe are struggling because of shortsighted player recruitment strategies, it is comforting to know that even a £100 million transfer can indeed be worth its weight in gold.

 

Romelu Lukaku has rejoined Chelsea in a £97.5million move ending weeks of speculation.

The forward emerged as a top target for Thomas Tuchel’s Blues after a prolific season in front of goal for Inter Milan.

And the Belgium ace’s move will see him return to the two-time Champions League winners seven years after leaving for Manchester United.

The striker, who netted 30 goals in 44 Inter appearances last term, has undergone stints at Everton and the Nerazzurri since leaving the Red Devils

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SEE REACTIONS BELOW

Lukaku: “I’m happy, blessed to be back at this wonderful club. I have supported Chelsea as a kid. The way the club is going fits my ambitions perfectly and just coming off winning Serie A. This opportunity comes at the right time and we can have a lot of success together” 🔵 #CFC
Twitter · 6 mins ago
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Sky Sports News
@SkySportsNews

𝗕𝗥𝗘𝗔𝗞𝗜𝗡𝗚: Chelsea break club transfer record to re-sign Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan for £97.5m
Twitter · 7 mins ago
Profile picture for The Athletic UK
The Athletic UK
@TheAthleticUK

Romelu Lukaku’s return to Chelsea 🔹 Why he changed his mind about leaving Inter 🔹 The push for Erling Haaland 🔹 Deal struck in France 🔹 Wages that make Belgian #CFC top earner 🔹 Tuchel’s excitement 📝 @SJohnsonSport @JamesHorncastle
Twitter · 8 mins ago
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B/R Football
@brfootball

Media posted by SempreInter
You came, you saw, you conquered Italy, Milan, #SerieA but mainly our hearts. @RomeluLukaku9, we will never forget your professionalism, commitment & love for the shirt. Thank you for making us dream again. You are already an @inter legend. Give em hell, champ. 💙🖤 #Lukaku
Twitter · 10 mins ago
Profile picture for SportsAdda

Romelu Lukaku being back at Chelsea is an absolutely fantastic signing. A top class striker that for me is in the best shape of his career. They have a real natural goalscorer now and that could be the difference in the title race. Has really matured into the complete number 9.
Twitter · 54 secs ago

Media posted by 10bet
🤑 Big Rom’s racking it up with the highest combined transfer fee in history. #CFC
Twitter · 57 secs ago
Profile picture for The Score ⭐️⭐️
The Score ⭐️⭐️
@TheScore01

Media posted by The Score ⭐️⭐️
He’s back and he’s perfect. Welcome home @RomeluLukaku9
Twitter · 1 min ago
Profile picture for TOI Sports
TOI Sports
@toisports

Media posted by Uber Chelsea FC ⭐️⭐️
“The relationship I have with this club means so much to me, as you know. I have supported Chelsea as a kid and now to be back and try to help them win more titles is an amazing feeling.” – Romelu Lukaku
Twitter · 1 min ago

Kepa is no longer Chelsea’s record signing, nor the one with the longest contract at the club. Lukaku takes both. (Broja is also until 2026, but excluding him cos he’s on loan at Southampton)
Twitter · 2 mins ago
Profile picture for Transfer News Central
Transfer News Central
@TransferNewsCen

Media posted by Transfer News Central
OFFICIAL: Chelsea have re-signed striker Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan for £97.5m on a five-year contract.
Twitter · 2 mins ago
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