Chelsea football club have assigned jersey number 9 to the club’s new signing Romelu Lukaku and he might face Arsenal on Sunday, August 22, 2021.
The Premier League game will take place at the Emirates Stadium at 16:30 and it is a must-win for Arsenal that started the 2021-2022 season on a losing note against newly-promoted Brentford.
Since Romelu Lukaku joined Chelsea from Inter Milan on August 12, 2021, for Chelsea’s transfer record fee of £98 million, he has not been able to play with the Premier League club.
The 28-year-old Belgian striker had the opportunity to be officially unveiled on Wednesday after he had spent about a week in self-isolation in line with the United Kingdom’s protocol for new arrivals in the country.
Since the start of this week, the Belgian striker has been training with Chelsea’s first team ahead of the club’s weekend clash against Arsenal which is the second league game of the season after the 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday, August 14.
Getting down to business. 👊#LukWhosBack pic.twitter.com/HaTv4qTHYN— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 17, 2021
During a press conference after his official unveiling to a handful of Chelsea’s supporters at Stamford Bridge, Romelu Lukaku confirmed his availability for the Arsenal’s game and the squad number 9 which has been assigned to him.
Before his arrival, Chelsea assigned shirt number 9 to England out of favor striker, Tammy Abraham, who scored 30 goals and provided 12 assists in 82 games in all competitions. The 23-year-old striker left Chelsea this August for Roma when it was clear that he was not in the plans of the current coach of the club, Thomas Tuchel.
Abraham’s departure left the number 9 shirt vacant and had to be handed over to Romelu Lukaku who is believed to be the most proven striker in the squad.
“Yes, I have the No 9 shirt,” said Lukaku. “I’m very happy and very fortunate to be in the situation.
“Cesar Azpilicueta’s the captain, he’s been here for many years, he’s a great captain.
“When I was in quarantine he was already messaging me, to help about houses and things like that.
“So in terms of leaders, there are many players that have big personalities in this dressing room.
“I’m one of the players who likes to connect everybody and make everyone feel comfortable and give them confidence.
“Because those players deserve to be Chelsea players and they showed that last season.”
Morning Blues! 😁#LukWhosBack pic.twitter.com/1Cv1NVqiEu— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 18, 2021
Recall that this is not Romelu Lukaku’s first era at Chelsea. He was at the club between 2011 and 2014 but could not establish himself. Hence, he had to be sold to Everton where he established himself as a prolific striker before he moved to Manchester United and then to Inter Milan.
During his first stint at Chelsea, he was under the shadow of the club’s legendary forward, Didier Drogba. He is expected to become one of the club’s leaders just like Drogba was during his era.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Romelu Lukaku confirmed that he has been speaking with Drogba and the club’s legend was happy with the improvements at Chelsea.
“He [Drogba] kept it really simple,” said Lukaku. “He was really happy about the improvements that I made in the last couple of seasons and he’s always saying that there is more work to be done. That is the right mindset…
“I think the last two seasons have been great for myself at club level and international level – and now I get a chance to join a team that is very hungry and very ambitious.
“I’m very happy to be here, now it’s up to us to prepare as a team and keep winning.
“The guys are very hungry and want to keep winning, everyone wants to work hard and keep improving.”
Let's get down to business! 👊— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 18, 2021