Chelsea hand Lukaku number nine shirt following player sale


New Chelsea signing Romelu Lukaku has been given the number nine shirt vacated by Tammy Abraham.

The Belgium striker, who scored 24 goals in Serie A last season, recently re-joined the Blues for £97.5million.

The transfer has seen him return to the Premier League two years after he left Manchester United for £74m.

The record scorer and closest current star for every PL club

Abraham, meanwhile, has linked up with Jose Mourinho at Roma after falling down the pecking order in West London.

His sale earned Chelsea a reported £34m. They also have the option to re-sign him for double that fee from 2023 onwards.

Lukaku said: “Yeah I have the number nine shirt, I’m very happy and very fortunate to be in the situation.”

Speaking about the team dynamic, he added: “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.

“So this dressing room has a lot of personality, which is what I like.

“It’s good to be back. As a footballer, you fight to achieve your dreams. I’m here now and I can’t wait to get on the pitch and perform with my team-mates.”

Lukaku has confirmed that he is fit to make his second debut this weekend. Chelsea will face London rivals Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.

The striker continued: “I’ve been training pretty much the whole pre-season.

“I’m just trying to help me and my team-mates get better, then at the end of the day I’m available for the match on Sunday.

“The dream is reality, so I just have to prove it on the pitch now.

“Now I’m here it’s time to get to work and focus on working hard.

“I already have a relationship with most of the players. I’m really happy to be here, and now we’ve got to play as a team.

“The guys are very hungry to keep winning, and training (on Tuesday) had a good intensity. Everyone wants to keep improving.”

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