Romelu Lukaku has revealed a burning desire to play in the UEFA Champions League as soon as possible.
The 20-year-old, on loan at Everton from Chelsea, had been tipped to return to his parent club after a prolific season-long spell with West Brom last term.
But the Belgian, who netted 17 goals in 35 top-flight appearances last season, was sent out on loan again and is enjoying a fruitful campaign at Goodison Park, with nine goals in 19 league matches.
Although he reportedly left Chelsea on frosty terms with manager Jose Mourinho, Lukaku believes his future lies with the London club and, most importantly, in the Champions League.
"I'm turning 21, I've been a professional for five years already. It is time," he told Het Laatste Nieuws.
"It is high time that I play in the Champions League. It is the next step I need in my development. Full stop.
"Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney were experienced already at that level when they were just 23-24 years old. I want to play Champions League football now. I must now show I'm ready for it.
"I still have two years on my contract and I know Chelsea follow my development. In the end it depends on what the manager thinks about me."
Despite setting his sights on making an impact at Stamford Bridge, Lukaku is still adamant that another loan move after his West Brom success was absolutely essential to his development.
He continued: "After the season I had at West Brom, it was important that as a young player I kept developing. That means to play.
"To me there is a difference between playing in 20 or 45 matches a season and scoring 10 or 20 goals. Mourinho eventually understood that.
"If I can be better than I was last season, what is then holding me back? Then it will be time to play Champions League football, which is what I want to do."comments