Romelu Lukaku would willingly accept a Chelsea recall despite the snub of being shipped out on loan to West Bromwich Albion after making only one Premier League start in his debut season at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have been left with a potential striker crisis after failing to sign the Brazilian Hulk from Porto and allowing both Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou to leave.
The powerfully built Lukaku was labelled "the new Drogba" when Chelsea agreed to pay Anderlecht £18m for him in August last year, yet they still allowed former Chelsea coach Steve Clarke to take the 19-year-old on a season-long loan.
Lukaku marked his first start on Saturday with his second top-flight goal – the winner at home to Reading – but insisted that even were he to become the star of Clarke's Albion his ambitions would not change. "West Brom is the perfect place for me to develop but my dream is always to play for Chelsea," he said.
Clarke said he would be "surprised" if Chelsea did not have the option to recall Lukaku in January. "Didier was the best centre-forward of that type in the world but Romelu will put his own mark on the game," the manager added.
WBA: FOSTER 6/10; JONES 7; MCAULEY 7; OLSSON 7; RIDGEWELL 7; GERA 6; YACOB 8; MORRISON 7; MULUMBU 7; BRUNT 6; LUKAKU 6
Reading: McCARTHY 8; SHOREY 7; PEARCE 7; GORKSS 6; GUNTER 6; MCANUFF 6; LEIGERTWOOD 6; GUTHRIE 6; McCLEARY 6; POGREBNYAK 5; LE FONDRE 5
Goals: West Brom Lukaku 71. Subs: West Brom Shane Long 6 (Morrison, 66), Dorrans 6 (Gera, 70), Rosenberg (Lukaku, 78). Reading Hunt 6 (Pogrebnyak, 69), Robson-Kanu (Gunter, 80). Booked: West Brom Yacob. Man of the match Yacob. Match rating 6/10. Possession: West Brom 53%. Reading 47%. Attempts on target: West Brom 4. Reading 1. Referee C Foy (Merseyside). Att 23,854.