Romelu Lukaku feels he has nothing to prove in English football after returning to the Premier League in a £97.5 million ($136m) transfer to Chelsea from Inter.
Lukaku is back for a second stint with the Blues, after failing to break through as a teenager. Following prolific stints with West Brom and Everton, he joined Manchester United for £75m, but was inconsistent throughout his two years at Old Trafford and was eventually sold to Italy for roughly the same price.
Having hugely impressed at Inter, helping them win Serie A for the first time in 11 years, the Belgian forward has come back to Chelsea – and does not feel his mixed record in England previously means he has to win over any doubters.
Speaking at his introductory press conference at Chelsea, Lukaku said: “I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. The only thing that motivates me is myself. I am a self-motivator and always have been. I’m a Chelsea player and happy to be here now.
“I have experienced success elsewhere and also a different playing style where it’s more technical based and tactical. The Premier League has a bit of everything and the experiences I had a few years ago were great. I loved every minute of it on and off the field but the experiences in Italy made me more complete as a player.
“Now it’s just about what I have learned in Italy. Watching the Premier League over the last few years, the players have got better, the teams have got better and I am ready for the challenge.”
Lukaku was a highly-rated youngster when he first moved to Chelsea in 2011 from Anderlecht, but only made 10 Premier League appearances for the Blues, scoring no goals, before being loaned to West Brom and Everton, then leaving permanently in 2014.
Now back as a 28-year-old rated as one of the best strikers on the planet, Lukaku says he has learned a lot from that first period in London, and is ready to deliver consistent success for Thomas Tuchel’s European champions.
He said: “It’s not about records. It’s about winning trophies. I’ve realised how different people’s attitude is towards you when you win something. That’s something that I’ve learned. In conversations I had with Didier Drogba or John Terry or Antonio Conte, the respect I have is different when you start winning.
“That was something I really wanted. I wanted to win so bad. I went to Inter and then we did. That’s the only thing that matters to me – winning. Scoring goals, yes, that’s beautiful. I know I am in a position where I can score a lot of goals – but winning trophies, that sets you apart.
“I was young and I don’t think I was as evolved as I am now. My journey has had a lot of ups and downs but at the end of the day if you keep performing you know that you will always get a chance. My relationship with the club has always been great and now to be back at the perfect time is a good feeling.”