Bought by Chelsea aged 18, Romelu Lukaku already had more experience than most players his age, having scored 41 goals in 98 games for Anderlecht’s first team.
Never really making the cut at Stamford Bridge, the Belgian striker eventually spent two loans spells at West Bromwich Albion and Everton before being bought by the latter for £30m in 2014.
Scoring 68 goals in 141 appearances for the Toffees over three years, Lukaku is starting to feel like a step up is needed, but he’ll never forget everything he learned in London, spending time alongside great strikers such as Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Fernando Torres.
And it’s this determination to constantly improve and learn that has allowed him to achieve so much at such a young age (let’s not forget he’s still only 23), as explained by the man himself in an interview with Sport/Foot Magazine.
He said: “I knew that by training with the best, being at the highest level every day, I would progress. When I left Chelsea for West Brom, I remember finding myself in Michael Emenalo’s office and telling him: ‘I’m going to score more than 15 goals in the league.’
“I was 19, and in the end, I scored 17, because I was so determined, I had so much to prove to those who’d buried me during my year on Chelsea’s bench. I read so many things about me, I’ll never be able to forgive them nor talk to them. Never.”
Actions speak louder than words, and with 67 goals to his name in the Premier League before his 24th birthday, it’s fair to say Lukaku is shutting the critics up.
Now he just needs to convince the Belgium Ultras to stop booing him when he plays for his country.