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Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku Proving Worth at West Brom

Romelu Lukaku in action for Chelsea in preseason.
Romelu Lukaku in action for Chelsea in preseason.Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
Mark MorrisContributor INovember 27, 2012

With only two goals in their last four games, new Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez would be forgiven for wondering who is going to win matches for the Blues.

Fernando Torres has not been prolific for more than two years now, and Daniel Sturridge is out injured for the second time this season.

The Blues’ centre-forwards have netted nine times between them in all competitions (Torres with seven, Sturridge with two), but it is possible to count the number of key, match-winning goals they have scored on two fingers.

To be fair to Sturridge, he has not had many opportunities to prove himself, but the decision to send Romelu Lukaku on loan to West Bromwich Albion is starting to look like an unwise one.

West Brom are ahead of Chelsea in the Premier League in third, and 19-year-old Lukaku has been on target four times for the Baggies.

The Belgian international scored the third goal, a penalty, in their 4-2 win over Sunderland, and he proved to be the match winner in their 1-0 victory over Reading.

Lukaku has essentially secured the Midlands side at least three points, and Chelsea are trailing Steve Clarke’s team by a single point in the league.

In his last game in charge, against Juventus, Roberto Di Matteo chose to drop Torres in favour of Eden Hazard in the lone striker position, and the move backfired in the form of a 3-0 drubbing.

Chelsea need a target-man option because the players Roman Abramovich has so far acquired, though talented, are still young and not yet able to perform to the standard of Barcelona’s attacking midfielders.

One assumes that is what the owner aspires to, and why shouldn’t he?

But the Premier League is different to La Liga and, occasionally, Chelsea are going to need to deploy some heavy weaponry up front.

At 6'3'', Romelu Lukaku can be utilised as a target man, and even if his touch is not quite deft enough for him to be considered "the new Didier Drogba," he is an option in the striker position Rafa Benitez's side could definitely use in a time when goals are hard to come by. 

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