LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26: John Heitinga of Everton competes with Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea during the Carling Cup Fourth Round match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on October 26, 2011 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Most of us here were disappointed by the amount of time 18 year old center forward Romelu Lukaku saw last season. We all knew he'd get fewer minutes than he did in Belgium, but failing to see him feature even when Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou were away at the African Cup of Nations was certainly disappointing. Lukaku has made it clear that he was a bit disappointed under AVB, and his agent had some remarks about what he'd like to see in store for Romelu next fall:
For Romelu is very simple, first make the preseason and see if you have options to play or not. If things get complicated, then your priority will be to stay in England
At the moment, I'd have to believe he'd get some minutes at Chelsea. Fernando Torres has been poor, and Daniel Sturridge is untested at center forward and entering the final year of his deal. Outside of those two, we have nobody that should currently be ahead of Lukaku on the depth chart.
That being said, there's every possibility that some depth will be brought in this fall. The approach mentioned by his agent is probably a wise one, as I'm sure there are plenty of clubs in England that could utilize a player like Lukaku if we don't think he'll see significant action at Stamford Bridge. We know he was happier under Di Matteo than he was under AVB, so today's news about Robbie's future was probably a good sign for Romelu. The US tour will certainly bear watching though, as With Torres likely making a deep run at the Euros and Danny at the Olympics, Lukaku could feature very heavily.