Andre Villas-Boas backed Romelu Lukaku to become as big a Chelsea legend as Didier Drogba after the Belgium sensation completed his "dream" move to Stamford Bridge.
Lukaku yesterday put the finishing touches on his transfer from Anderlecht to his boyhood idols and Villas-Boas had no fears about throwing the 18-year-old in at the deep end.
Lukaku has been compared to Drogba, who has established himself as one of Chelsea's all-time greats during seven glittering years at the club.
And manager Villas-Boas was confident the new kid on the block could emulate his hero, saying: "If he performs to the level that Drogba has performed for this club then why not?"
But the Portuguese also warned the Blues' latest signing he faced "the biggest competition of his life" trying to oust Drogba, Fernando Torres, Nicolas Anelka, Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou from the squad.
Villas-Boas added: "He is tremendously powerful, very strong in the challenges.
"Despite his size, he has an explosiveness and an ability to react quickly which looks pretty amazing.
"He just has to break through this competitive level and, for sure, he will get opportunities this year."
Lukaku welcomed comparisons with Drogba, telling his new club's official website, www.chelseafc.com: "We have similar playing styles, but I am also very fast. I want to learn from him how it is to play here at the Bridge and how to prepare for games.
"I can also learn from the other strikers and experienced players in the squad.
"I think if you are clever on and off the pitch you will get accepted and that's what I want."
Lukaku will not be Chelsea's final summer signing if Villas-Boas gets his way.
But the 33-year-old admitted Roman Abramovich would have the final say on whether the club made another bid for Luka Modric before the transfer window closes.
The Blues have seen offers of £22million and £27million rejected for Tottenham playmaker Modric this summer and have been linked with a £30million bid for some weeks.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has repeatedly insisted Modric is not for sale at any price but manager Harry Redknapp yesterday admitted it could be in the club's interest to let the 25-year-old leave and spend the transfer fee on reinforcing their squad.
Villas-Boas is already exploring alternatives to Modric, hinting Chelsea would not be held to ransom over the Croatia star and that billionaire owner Abramovich would veto any move if he believed that to be the case.
"It doesn't depend on me. It's not my money!" said the new Blues boss, who also insisted his own opinion on transfers was taken into account.
"It depends on a lot of things. It depends on the club's decision, if they are willing to go forward or not, up to which value, and to decide whether they want to keep the interest in the player."
He added: "Luka, on this particular occasion, is a young player but there would be for sure a sensible price to pay."Reuse content