Lukaku returns to Chelsea in £97.5m deal

August 13 – No sooner had Jack Grealish become the most expensive English Premier League transfer during the summer window after his £100 million move to Manchester city than Romelu Lukuka has followed just behind for very nearly the same amount.

Chelsea have signed the powerful Belgian striker for a second time as he returned to English football with media reports saying the fee was a club record £97.5 million on a five-year deal.

“It has been a long journey for me: I came here as a kid who had a lot to learn, now I’m coming back with a lot of experience and more mature,” Lukaku told the Chelsea website after his move from Inter Milan.

“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.”

Lukaku leaves Inter after two successful seasons in Italy, where he scored 24 league goals last season, steering the Nerazzurri to their first Serie A title in 11 years.

While his first spell at Chelsea may have been distinctly ordinary, this is a very different Lukaku to the one who made 15 appearances for the Blues over two seasons and who has also played for Everton and Manchester United

“Since I left Chelsea, it has been a long journey with a lot of ups and downs, but these experiences made me strong and the challenge is to try to help the team win some more trophies. I can’t wait to get started and to help the club achieve more success.”

In all, his various transfer fees have totalled around £300 million but Belgium’s all-time top goalscorer could well be the missing link in Chelsea’s impressive squad as they seek to win the Premier League title for the first time since 2017.

Never short of confidence, he is one of only three players to have scored 20 or more goals and had 10 or more assists in Europe’s top five leagues last season – joining Harry Kane and Memphis Depay.

Chelsea’s one problem last season was scoring goals. Now they have one of the most prolific strikers in world football.

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