Lukaku flattered by Drogba comparisons

LONDON - Tipped as the next Didier Drogba, Chelsea new boy Romelu Lukaku is flattered to be compared to the powerhouse striker with whom he bears a striking resemblance in stature and playing style.

Drafted into Chelsea's burgeoning squad from Belgian club Anderlecht this month for a fee media reports said was in the region of 18 million pounds, the 18-year-old is now learning all he can from Drogba.

With his hulk-like frame and swift turn of pace, the young Belgian has invited obvious comparisons with a player many pundits said he had been brought in to replace.

But Lukaku is now taking tips from twice African Footballer of the Year Drogba.

"To be compared with Didier is a very big honour to me," Lukaku told reporters on Tuesday as he was introduced along with fellow close-season recruit Oriol Romeu.

"Every time I spend time with him we talk and I sit next to him in the dressing room. I listen all the time because he gives advice and, also with Nico [Nicolas Anelka] and Fernando [Torres] it is the same, so I am very happy to have world-class strikers around me.

"I am not here to replace Didier, just to play for Chelsea, and I hope he will stay as long as possible so I can play with him and continue learning from him. He is a world-class striker," Lukaku added.


"When we did some finishing exercises after training he said to focus as long as possible when you hit the ball, until the last minute. [These are] very small things but very efficient."

Lukaku, a Chelsea fan who owned a club shirt before signing for the Premier League team, said he was a little overawed when he arrived at Stamford Bridge.

"I was quiet and didn't say anything, I just looked around," he said.

"You don't know what to say when the captain John Terry tells me, 'Whenever you need me you can call me', and Didier says, 'Well done Romelu'. It's like 'Did he just say that to me?'.

"It gives you a boost to do more but sometimes when you do something wrong they also scream at you. It's not play time now, that's over and we have to work hard to get success."

Midfielder Romeu, who arrived from Barcelona this month on a four-year deal, could be considered one for the future at only 19.

The young Catalan, however, is determined to force his way into first-team contention.

"I am concentrating on this season. I want to do my best and make the most of the opportunity I've been given," he said.

"Chelsea have given me this great opportunity and I want to play as many games as possible."

The London club, who have picked up four points from their opening two league matches, host promoted Norwich City on Saturday.