Lukaku wants to return to Chelsea – but not quite yet

West Bromwich Albion 2 Norwich City 1

Romelu Lukaku wants to win the fame that Didier Drogba enjoyed as a Chelsea striker and has his sights on a return to Stamford Bridge – but only when he can play every game.

The 19-year-old Belgian, who is midway through a season-long loan at West Bromwich Albion, scored his sixth top-flight goal to give them a 2-1 win over Norwich on Saturday on the day it was confirmed that Daniel Sturridge is to join Liverpool.

Chelsea will only have Fernando Torres as a recognised centre forward, leaving Albion wondering whether interim manager Rafael Benitez will invoke the January release clause in Lukaku's loan. Chelsea spent £18 million when they acquired him from Anderlecht in August 2011.

But Lukaku, who was given only one Premier League start for Chelsea, says he would rather stay where he is than go back to sitting on the bench. He has not nailed down a place at The Hawthorns but has started five and been involved in all bar one of Albion's 18 matches so far.

"I'm hungry to play for Chelsea and I love the club," Lukaku said. "But I want to be ready to start every game. I don't want to be on the bench.

"When Chelsea call me they ask me how I feel and I tell them every time I'm very happy to be here and play. They know this season I'm improving but when I go back there I want to be a much better player than when I arrived. I want to be one of the great players in the Premier League.

"But I have to be patient. It is a one-season loan but I would be happy to be here for two years because I need to play as much as I can and show that I can really do well for them."

The muscular teenager showed Drogba-like qualities as he outjumped his marker to head Saturday's winner eight minutes from time, giving Albion a first win in five and ending Norwich's 10-match unbeaten run.

The club's manager, Steve Clarke, also once of Chelsea, has seen Lukaku make big strides. "When he came here I saw a boy with little confidence after moving for a lot of money and not having many chances," he said. "Now he has more confidence, his touch is improving, his work rate is better and when he has played he has scored goals.

"It is not fair to compare him with Drogba or any other player but he has a big future. He just needs time to develop and see how good he becomes."

Match facts

WBA: FOSTER 6, JONES 7, McAULEY 7, OLSSON 7, POPOV 7, GERA 6, BRUNT 6, DORRANS 6, MORRISON 6, ODEMWINGIE 5, LUKAKU 8

Norwich: BUNN 7, GARRIDO 6, BASSONG 7, TURNER, WHITTAKER 6, PILKINGTON 5, JOHNSON 6, TETTEY 5, SNODGRASS 6, MORISON 6, HOOLAHAN 6

Goals: West Bromwich Albion Gera 43, Lukaku 82. Norwich City Snodgrass 23. Subs: West Bromwich Fortune 6 (Dorrans, h-t), Long 7 (Gera, 61), Tamas (Lukaku, 84). Norwich R Martin 6 (Whittaker, 55), Howson (Hoolahan, 73), Jackson (Tettey, 84). Booked: West Bromwich Popov. Norwich Turner. Man of the match Lukaku. Match rating 6/10. Possession: West Bromwich 42% Norwich 58%. Attempts on target: West Bromwich 8 Norwich 4. Referee M Atkinson (West Yorkshire). Att 25,799.

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'