Romelu Lukaku has said he believes he deserved a chance at Chelsea this season -- and is determined to prove it over the next nine months on loan at Everton.
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Lukaku, 20, scored 17 times in 20 starts on loan at West Brom last season.
But with Samuel Eto’o arriving from Anzhi Makhachkala to join Fernando Torres and Demba Ba at Stamford Bridge this season, Lukaku would have faced a major fight for first-team opportunities.
He appeared as a substitute in three of Chelsea’s first four matches this season, missing the decisive penalty in the UEFA Super Cup shoot-out defeat against Bayern Munich in Prague on August 30.
The Belgium international insisted it was his decision to go out on loan again, having discussed his short-term future with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho. And in the long-term, he aims to prove he is worth a regular place in Mourinho’s side.
Lukaku said: "After last year, I think I deserved a chance. Just a chance. Like I did a year earlier, before I went to West Brom. I thought I deserved a chance, and I went on loan to West Brom. I did well.
"So this year, I have a point to prove to myself -- to do it again -- and then to Chelsea as well, to show that I can be the No.1 for them as well.
"I had a few talks with the manager about playing regularly and the importance of it -- because I didn’t think I could afford another season on the bench -- or maybe playing one out of three at my age, especially with the World Cup coming up.
"So I talked with him a few times, and came to a decision that going on loan was the best thing to do again. It was my choice. I wanted to play as much as possible.
"I want to build on the season I had last year. I don’t want people to remember me as Romelu Lukaku at West Brom, and then find myself in the background again. I want to build on what I did last year."
Lukaku watched Everton beat Chelsea 1-0 in the Premier League last Saturday from Goodison Park’s main stand because he was unable to play against his parent club under the terms of the loan.
He feels he has made a step up from West Brom and said: "I thought the best solution for me was to come to Everton. It’s a good footballing team. I felt a lot of confidence from the manager as well.
"It’s a step up from West Brom, I think. At West Brom, I could show myself and had the opportunity to play, but now I can do it for a bigger club. So it was a good opportunity for me to come here and show myself again."