Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

LUKAKU: I COULDN'T FACE IT AT CHELSEA; Striker Left Because He Dreaded 10 Years as a Sub

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

LUKAKU: I COULDN'T FACE IT AT CHELSEA; Striker Left Because He Dreaded 10 Years as a Sub

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson Football Correspondent

ROMELU LUKAKU claims he quit Chelsea because he feared he would spend the next 10 years on the bench at Stamford Bridge.

The striker joined Everton for a clubrecord PS28million last night and feels he had to move to save his career.

Lukaku has made just 15 appearances for the Blues since joining from Anderlecht for PS18m in 2011 and spent the last two seasons on loan at West Brom and Everton respectively.

His chances of first-team football looked grim after Chelsea paid Atletico Madrid PS32m for Diego Costa this summer and also brought back Didier Drogba following his release from Galatasaray.

Lukaku felt it was another example of young talent not being given a chance at the club and insists a move was his only option.

"Chelsea are a big club and sometimes it is difficult for young players to come through," said the 21-year-old. "I want to have a good career and I didn't want to spend 10 years on the bench, I wanted to make the best out of every year.

"This [Everton] are a club with a lot of ambition and the right place to be. You don't have to have regrets in football. Choices have to be made. I needed to be in the place where it felt right and here I have the confidence of all the technical staff, the trust of the supporters as well and I can grow and develop.

"Roberto Martinez will be one of the top managers in the world and for me to work under him now is the best thing that could happen for me.

"I have a very good relationship with the players and staff so for me this is the place where I belong."

Jose Mourinho has accused the Belgium international of lacking the mental strength to cope with the competition in his squad and admits the deal was too good to turn down.

The Chelsea manager has money to spend after making a profit from the sales of David Luiz, Demba Ba and Lukaku for a combined PS81m even though the club have splashed out on Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Filipe Luis and Mario Pasalic. …

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