Diego Costa's Chelsea Replacement?
Romelu Lukaku has once again been backed to return to Chelsea and continue to show, as he has at Everton, that he's an 'exceptional' forward.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is the latest to praise Lukaku, who has grown in stature during loan spells away from Chelsea prior to his permanent arrival at Everton from Stamford Bridge - the indication from Lukaku recently has been very much he feels his time with the Toffees, depite a contract until 2019, is coming to an end.
Hasselbaink told the Premier League Daily, via Sky Sports: 'Well let's not forget he used to be at Stamford Bridge and he's been at a lot of clubs on loan because he needs games and playing time. He's been to West Brom on loan and he's been at Everton and he's done exceptionally well. Exceptional.'
Dutchman Hasselbaink, a former Chelsea striker himself, believes Lukaku and Diego Costa are 'very similar' players so the Everton man could fit in seamlessly should he return to London, potentially replacing the Spaniard even?
Adding: 'Everton paid, at the time, a lot of money for him but because he has developed that well, nowadays for players of his stature, you pay that kind of money, and if you want to have a goalscorer in your team at 24-years-old [sic] you have to pay. I think he has matured that's for sure, but if you compare Costa and Lukaku they're very similar. If you compare him to Kane they are totally different.'
As Lukaku isn't as 'temperamental' as Costa this would be another plus in his being signed by Antonio Conte as the Belgium international will continue to improve becoming better than Costa anyway.
'The way that Chelsea are playing, he is, along with [Alvaro] Morata, the player you are going to look at to take over from Costa,' continued Hasselbaink. 'Is he [Lukaku] as good as Costa? I think they are very close. They are very similar, he's not as temperamental but he does lead the line and I think he is still going to become better.'
With Lukaku, 23, being able to play 'with better players' at Chelsea too Hasselbaink thinks that would also help the Premier League's top goalscorer - he's scored 24 so far this season - who would be able to cope with the pressure of this Stamford Bridge return.
Hasselbaink finished: 'With all due respect to Everton, if he does go to Chelsea he will play with better players, so he is going to get better as well. Yes the pressure is going to be on him, the shirt will be heavier and only certain kinds of players can handle that and he will have to show that he can. But what he has done for Everton, Chapeau, very, very, very well done.'
Whoever wants Lukaku, be it Chelsea or otherwise, will have to part with a cool £100m for the prolific striker by all accounts...