Romelu Lukaku has finally conducted his first full interview as a new Chelsea player today.
Since he has been in quarantine after arriving in the UK due to covid-19 restrictions, the majority of his media duties have had to wait until today now he has come out of isolation.
It was probably worth that wait though, as what he has said today will be absolute music to the ears of every single Chelsea fan around the world.
Thomas Tuchel has told Lukaku that he wants him to be a leader on the pitch, something that comes naturally to him anyway.
But Lukaku is also confident of playing well back in the Premier League, and he says he has evolved from the player he was when he was at Manchester United, even though he was also pretty free-scoring then as well.
Make no mistake this is a player full of confidence, as you can see here from his every word said in his first official interview on the Chelsea website:
“It was a good win [vs Crystal Palace] and the manner in which we won with a dominant 3-0 scoreline and creating a lot of chances. We also pressed and recovered the ball high. We didn’t really get into any problems so it was good.
“Hopefully we can keep that level of performance up. We’re going to have to because the Premier League is very difficult but I’m looking forward to this challenge.
“I just feel more complete [since the first time he joined Chelsea]. I’ve tried to master all the facets that a striker needs and I just want to keep improving on the small details all the time and keep improving on my strengths as well.
“I just want to try to help the team win and be available for the manager as well as for my team-mates. I want to make sure that they feel comfortable and they can lean on me in whatever situation we’re in.
“I’m a leader but I’m also more of a gel person, making sure that everybody feels comfortable and confident. That’s the way I lead. When I was at Inter and when I’ve been captain of the national team, I make sure that everybody is confident and knows what they have to do.
“When there’s a difficult moment in the game, they can lean on me and I’ll always be encouraging my team-mates, never being down on them or barking at them. I try to stay positive and make sure that we win the game because that’s always the most important thing.
“The conversation was really clear from him [Tuchel], that he wants me to be a presence and a leader in the team. I have to just use all my abilities to make sure I can help the team as much as possible.
“My role will depend on what the game plan is and what the boss wants me to do. If he wants me to be a focal point or if he wants me to attack the spaces in behind, I can do it. The two years in Italy helped me master all the facets of the game for a striker and now I’m ready.
“I like the system that we play and I’m very flexible. I can play as a two or by myself and I’m used to the system because it’s what we play with the Belgian national team so I don’t need much time to adapt. It’s just knowing the strengths of my team-mates in important positions and knowing what we do off the ball, then I can do the rest.
“Italy is tactically and technically a better league but here in England, it’s all about the intensity. That’s what makes the difference but it’s no problem for me because I’ve been here for eight years and I know what it’s all about.
“It’s not like I’m a new player coming in and not quite knowing what to expect. I know the league, I’ve scored a fair amount of goals here but the past is the past and now we have to look forward.
“I’m a new version of that player from before. I’ve evolved and the team that I’m joining is a very strong team so now we just have to prove it on the pitch by challenging for the Premier League.
“I don’t really talk about my personal ambitions but they lean with the club’s ambitions. That’s why I came back. Chelsea wants to keep winning, keep growing as a club and really dominate in England and Europe. That’s something that I wanted and I’m here now so it’s up to me to help the team achieve its potential.
“Our relationship [Lukaku and Drogba] means the world to me. It’s not like we talk once a month, I talk to the guy every few days! We have a group chat so we’re constantly communicating and I’ve been on the phone with him a bit more in the past two weeks.
“I had a lot of questions to ask and he still knows a lot of people here so he really prepared me well with the last details. Now I just need to get to know the players and the manager a bit better and just be available as quickly as possible for the team.
“I’m ready [to play vs Arsenal] so it’s just about getting into the team and trying to prove myself to the coaches that if I’m needed, I can play. We all have to compete throughout the week to earn our starting spot.
“For me it’s going to be a new fight but we’re all fighting for one cause – to make sure that Chelsea win! I’ll make sure that in training I give 100 per cent every day and make sure that I’m ready for each game.
“I’m happy the first one is a big game away at Arsenal so hopefully we can prepare ourselves well and get a good result.”