Romelu Lukaku has already eclipsed Chelsea’s £185m transfer spend after first four games
Life back in a Chelsea shirt could not have started much better for Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgium international made a sensational return to Stamford Bridge last month for a club-record fee, understood to be in the region of £97.5million from Inter Milan.
Roman Abramovich was well aware that the Blues needed to sign a world-class striker to mount a serious Premier League title charge this season – and he turned to one of his former players in Lukaku to do just that.
The summer transfer window saw Chelsea express plenty of interest in Erling Haaland, but Borussia Dortmund were determined to keep hold of their star striker, so a move never materialised.
However, Chelsea ended up getting their world-class striker, and he has not disappointed upon his return so far.
In his opening three Premier League matches since coming back to England, Lukaku has netted three times – most recently, inspiring the Blues to a 3-0 win against Aston Villa with a brace, scoring either side of half-time in west London.
The first was a typical Lukaku goal. After latching onto the end of a through ball, the 28-year-old pretended to shoot on his left foot and completely sold Villa defender Axel Tuanzebe, who slid to try and tackle the Chelsea forward, but the Belgian then slotted the ball past Jed Steer with his right foot.
His second was emphatic. Lukaku was found by Cesar Azpilicueta and the club-record signing smashed the ball past Steer into the top corner and wrapped up a fine display in front of his adoring supporters.
Both goals followed on from scoring on his second Chelsea debut against Arsenal last month, with Lukaku getting on the end of a low Reece James cross to tap the ball into an empty net. He also netted the winner against Zenit in the Champions League midweek.
So, it’s been a fine start for Lukaku at Chelsea, but how does his opening three matches compare to the four other most expensive strikers in the west London club’s history?..
In comparison to Alvaro Morata, who signed for Chelsea for around £60m in the summer of 2017 from Real Madrid, Lukaku has one more goal to his name after the opening three Premier League matches.
Morata managed to score on his Blues debut against Burnley, in a 3-2 defeat at Stamford Bridge, and also found the net a couple of weeks later in a 2-0 win against Everton in London.
The now-Juventus striker went on to find the net 16 times in all competitions in his debut season with the club, a number Lukaku is already well on his way to surpassing.
Meanwhile, when comparing Lukaku’s stats to Fernando Torres, who was signed from Liverpool for around £50m in January 2011, the Belgian’s are clearly better.
Torres failed to score in his opening three league matches after making the controversial switch to Stamford Bridge.
The former Spain international only scored once for Chelsea in the remaining matches of the 2010/11 season after signing midway through the campaign.
Similarly to Torres, Timo Werner could not find the back of the net in his opening three Chelsea matches after completing a £45m move from RB Leipzig last year.
Werner, who will be hoping to benefit from Lukaku’s inclusion in the Blues side, went on to score 12 goals for Chelsea in all competitions last season, in his first term in England.
Finally, there is Andriy Shevchenko, who made a £30m switch to Chelsea from AC Milan in the summer of 2006.
The former Ukraine striker scored once in his opening three top-flight matches, finding the net in a 2-1 defeat away at Middlesbrough in August 2006.
Shevchenko scored 14 goals in all competitions in his debut season at Chelsea, with Lukaku looking set to overtake that at some point during this campaign.
Lukaku has a stronger record than all four of these big-money strikers – who signed for a combined £185m – after their opening three matches in a Chelsea shirt. It’s been such a positive start to life back in England for the Belgian and it just goes to show how he adapts to huge pressure after an almost-£100m fee.