Romelu Lukaku has reflected on how the “warzone” training sessions he experienced at Chelsea in 2011 set him up for the rest of his career.
Belgian international Lukaku is expected to make his second debut for Chelsea against Arsenal on Sunday, eight years on from his last appearance for the London club.
The 28-year-old has gained plenty of experience since then, having played for Everton, Manchester United and Inter Milan since he left Stamford Bridge back in 2014, as well as at several major tournaments for Belgium.
While Lukaku has developed significantly as a players since he first joined Chelsea back in 2011, he revealed that his first training session in London set him up for the rest of his career as a professional footballer.
🗣”It was like a warzone everyday, JT kicked me, I was in a 1v1 and he got me straight away and I liked it as I knew it was the highest level.”
Romelu Lukaku recalls when he joined Chelsea back in 2011 and says how training was with the likes of John Terry and Frank Lampard. pic.twitter.com/yxjH00Q9kg
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) August 21, 2021
Romelu Lukaku on John Terry’s warm welcome to Chelsea.
“I realised it the first day when I came in. The training session is where I really saw what it was about. The challenges – it was really like a warzone every day,” Lukaku explained.
“It really was like a warzone every day because I remember JT (John Terry) kicked me. You probably remember JT. I remember that I dribbled him on the side – my first one v one – and he got me straight away.
“The second time when I went – boom – ball, me, everything. And I liked it. Because that’s when I knew this is the highest level. Very quickly I realised that there was a lot of work to be done on my side.
“Because I entered a dressing room full of men that won a lot. So I knew that, you know what? Everything that you want to achieve on the football pitch you have to do it at the training ground.
“Those basics, I really took into the rest of my career.”
#️⃣ RL9. 👊 pic.twitter.com/p04fMcPAXr
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 20, 2021
The Belgian striker’s much-anticipated return to Chelsea.
Cheslea manager Thomas Tuchel is expecting Lukaku to have an immediate impact for his team, and has questioned whether the Belgian striker is the “missing piece” to the puzzle up front.
While Chelsea ultimately had a very successful season in the last term, having won the Champions League, they did struggle to find goals at times.
Lukaku has proven himself to be very capable of scoring goals throughout his career, and was named as the Serie A’s most valuable players last season due to his part in Inter Milan’s successful challenge for the title.
The Belgian international is expected to play in Chelsea’s London derby against Arsenal on Sunday, where Tuchel’s side will look to make it two wins from two in this season’s Premier League.