Romelu Lukaku became the all-round forward after learning from his “bad experiences”.
This is the perspective of Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta who has seen a remarkable transformation at Lukaku since his first stint at the club as a teenage prospect to the £ 97.5million superstar.
Lukaku didn’t watch much after joining Chelsea in 2011, went on loan, joined Everton and then traveled to Manchester United before his last stint at Inter Milan really established him as one of the European elites.
The Chelsea forward marked his return with a goal at Arsenal and Azpilicueta now believes Lukaku’s entire game has improved as it has been shaped by some of the setbacks in his career.
Blues defender Azpilicueta said: “Over the years you mature. You learn from bad experiences. When you experience different things, you gain that maturity.
“Romelu has always been a great personality, keen to improve his own game, trying to help the team. I have no doubt that he is going to be a key player for us.
“We are very happy to have him this season. You can see his strengths, his personality, his goals, his assists, the way he plays. Even though Arsenal was his first game and he only had a week of training.
“But he knows the club. He’s been here before. He has the ambition and desire to succeed and help the team continue to win trophies.
“When he was at Chelsea for the first time you have to take into consideration that it was a different group. He was very young. It was not easy for him. But he worked his way to be at the top. other loans to other teams and then it was sold to another country, Italy, to prove its worth.
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“Now he’s already back in the Premier League and he’s shown his quality. In life you grow. You gain experience. You learn where to go and where not to go on the pitch, to be more dangerous.
“Romelu has always shown his personality. With age you become more confident and now he is at a different stage in his career.
Azpilicueta, 31, has been at Chelsea for nine years, has already won two Premier League titles, knows what it takes to be champion and the levels of expectation at Stamford Bridge.
Azpilicueta said: “It’s a challenge. We know that last season in the Premier League we finished a long way from where we want to be. We finished fourth. We have to show each day that we are ready.
“We face a tough challenge on Saturday, but we believe in ourselves. We are confident.
“It was a short preseason. After the euros, a few of us arrived late. We didn’t have a lot of time to train. We have worked hard to be in good shape all season.
“We know that every time we train or play we have to be at our best. It is our responsibility. We have to show that we are up to the challenge.
Turning his attention to the trip to Anfield, Azpilicueta added: “It’s a big game. We know that the two teams come from two victories. We haven’t conceded any goals. Let’s prepare well. We have to go there and show our quality.