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Can Romelu Lukaku Be Arsenal's Very Own Didier Drogba?

by Owen Blackhurst
16 July 2011 24 Comments

Built like a boxer and compared to Didier Drogba, Arsenal should look to no-one but Romelu Lukaku to be the powerful forward who can add a whole new dimension to the team...

He's even got the expressions of Drogba

Built like a boxer and compared to Didier Drogba, Arsenal should look to no-one but Romelu Lukaku to be the powerful forward who can add a whole new dimension to the team…

Most people, aged 16, are up to the same things. Illicit smoking and drinking, trying to get off with the opposite sex, making terrible fashion choices and, generally, pretending that they know it all. Romelu Lukakau was no ordinary 16-year-old. At a time when most of us were grappling with bras, booze and premature ejaculation, the new ‘Didier Drogba’ was on his way to firing Anderlecht to the Belgian league title as top scorer with 15 Goals.

Only recently 18, and with a goal return of just under one-in-two for his club, Lukaku has been tracked, scouted and eulogised about by some of the biggest clubs and greatest coaches in Europe. “It’s true we wanted Lukaku at Madrid,” said Mourinho last October, “but he has a very clever Dad who wants him to stay at Anderlecht for two or three years.”

The Dad is question is Roger Lukaku, a former journeyman player of Congolese descent who, in the few interviews he has given on the subject of his sons’ transfer, has intimated a desire to see the prodigy come to the Premier League as it would suit his bristling style. I for one can vouch for his effectiveness.

Since the great eye twitch of 2001 I haven’t purchased a copy of any football management game to play on my laptop. But this self-enforced ban didn’t stop me from downloading Football Manager 2011 on my iPhone. Playing as my beloved Liverpool, I sold the wantaway Torres for £60 million to Barcelona (he snapped his cruciate straight away) and set about rebuilding the squad with players such as Contreao, Suarez, Derfour, Fernadinho and Ezequiel Garay. I also took a punt on Lukaku based on a few YouTube clips I had seen.

Predominantly right-footed, he plays on the shoulder of the centre-backs and uses his phenomenal upper-body strength and pace to force gaps in between them. He’s willing to run the channels to provide an outlet and the way he holds off men almost twice his age with consummate ease is frightening.

Although it would be churlish to extrapolate his form on a simulated 2D game to real-life, the fact that he scored 263 goals in 10 seasons – including the winner in consecutive Champions League finals and a last day hat-trick at Old Trafford that won the Premier League title – should not be sniffed at.

More than any player I signed, he piqued my interest to a point that I have often streamed RSC Anderlecht games to see if he has any chance of becoming the player that the FM scouts believe him to be. The short answer is yes.

The comparisons with Drogba are inevitable. Predominantly right-footed, he plays on the shoulder of the centre-backs and uses his phenomenal upper-body strength and pace to force gaps in between them. He’s willing to run the channels to provide an outlet and the way he holds off men almost twice his age with consummate ease is frightening.

He is the perfect striker for Arsenal. For all the pretty football Arsenal play, the whole world knows that they need an iron spine to prop up loose limbs on the flanks and Lukaku is the answer. He relishes the physical side of the game and you can guarantee that he would have no problems on a wet Wednesday at Stoke. Robin Van Persie is a fine player, on his day one of the best in the league, but Chamakh looks to be no more than an average all-round striker and Bendtner is, of course, only one hundredth of the player he thinks he is.

Arsenal supporters, frustrated by rumours of their two world-class midfielders departing will, of course, expect the club to reinvest heavily to bring in established talent. Yet despite his age Lukaku was seemingly born for the Premier League and has been carrying Anderlecht since he was 16. The ideal scenario would be to pay £20m for him, bring in one out-and-out winger to replace Nasri if he goes and change the shape of the team slightly. Arsenal are beautiful to watch, but when teams park the bus the play often gets funnelled inside due to the lack of a true wideman who wants to skin his marker and whip balls in. As for replacing Fabregas, you can’t, but Wilshere and a rejuvenated Ramsey could be a very effective partnership and Wilshere would surely relish hitting passes into space for Lukaku to run onto.

Of course, there have been plenty of players who have shown immense physicality and talent at a tender age. Wayne Rooney has gone from strength to strength. Emile Heskey hasn’t.

Believe me, Arsenal could do a lot worse than take a punt on Lukaku.

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A Tribute To Arsenal’s Class Clown Emmanuel Eboue

Jose Jurado: Why Arsenal Fans Shouldn’t Get Too Excited About Signing Him

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

eliminatorjr 11:07 am, 2-Apr-2011

I saw him play at Anderlecht, and despite missing an open goal, he was remarkably powerful and skillful for such a young lad. He is a major presence in the box and can hold the ball up (especially when playing as an isolated striker). With Suarez and bousaffa playing alongside him at anderlecht he is a force to reckoned with. Would love to see him play in England - would be a great long-term Drogba replacement.

Judith Le'Strange 10:44 am, 1-Jul-2011

Oh good I see we're being linked with another player. But when are we actually going to announce a signing of either Cahill, Samba, Gervinho and whoever else the press link us with is what I want to know!!!

Moses Watasa 10:55 am, 1-Jul-2011

The “beaks” of those "wolves" on the Board of Arsenal FC must be flooding with saliva right now - in anticipation of feasting on proceeds from the auctioning of Fabregas, Clichy, Nasri etc. By 31st August 2011, Mr. Arsene "the- profit-maker" Wenger will have more than enough for them to "eat". He is typically recruiting more kids - Carl Jenkinson, Oxylade Chamberlain etc to groom and sell (again) when they peak in 2014. What a "brilliant" manager and "ambitious" Board! Mean time, the likes of Nasri, Fabregas and Clichy will have improved trophy prospects at their respective new clubs. What is Robin Van Persie (running out of time for trophies) waiting for?

billyjoe 11:19 am, 1-Jul-2011

I'd just like to say that being a first time visitor to the site you've hit the nail on the increasingly frustrating head. much as lukaku would be a dream deal that I doubt would come to pass (I believe he's said before that he's actually a life-long Chelsea fan) it is the funneling of play into the centre that has been an increasingly woeful aspect of arsenal play. there's always chat about never having replaced henry/vieira etc, but it's pires and ljungberg's ghosts that haunt the arsenal style of play. getting behind defenders seems to be an arsenal player's greatest phobia, and bless walcott for trying but his cross is about as usefull as an underwater hairdryer. there's only so much keep-ball in front of a packed penalty area that a fan can watch before realising 'oh, actually we don't play the prettiest football in the league.' relaxing, sure, but lord above so pointless.

EMERY EMEKA 1:29 pm, 1-Jul-2011

Why can`t wenger save the fans the embarrassment and sign at least 3 good players to add to the existing ones? he is the cause of what is happening in the club

nope 9:25 pm, 1-Jul-2011

He said himself that he is a Chelsea fan and would only leave Anderlecht to join Chelsea. Plus he'd have a better chance of winning trophies in Belgium than at Arsenal.

Null 9:51 am, 2-Jul-2011

If arsenal sign him ,he'll just hop over to the bridge in a season or two anyway.

Sparky 2:36 pm, 2-Jul-2011

NO he said he would only join the top 3 clubs in english and as we fucking came 4th we dont have a chance as he said he would only join chelsea,MAN UTD,man city and fucking arsenal at the end of the season came 4th and we lost our chance we wait until the end of the transfer season just to get 2 or 3 million off for a shit people and man utd and chelsea and man city and even liverpool in this transfer season have or are gonna move faster to player then us.... as a arsenal supporter i was angry that we dont get good player and when we get young players like fabregas then suddently barcelona came and say 'his barcelona DNA' when we made him world class and suddently then he turns barcelona DNA, well his fucking arsenal DNA because he would of been playing at barcelona b team..why would he leave if he felt wanted ? well he didnt and fucking our player leave not even thinking of beening arsenal DNA...fucking piss taking !!!!

Rusty 11:44 am, 5-Jul-2011

Big names doesn't mean success!!!! Did any of you hear of Henry,Pires,Vieira,Petit,RVP,Gilberto etc etc, None were big names and yet they were the invincibles. Wenger will get it right and if weren't for him then we'd be a mid table club at best, he's done wonders for us considering the board won't spend money!!! How many other managers could maintain top 4 football and actually make finals and go far in the CL without much money! The answer is none not even Rednose fergie. We need players that will run and run and that get the job done without being fancy to mix with the talent we got, a new striker that will score at the slightest sniff of goal. How many striker have citeh spend big cash on? it got them the f.a cup and thats it and not like they even bang the goals in

Dan 5:39 pm, 6-Jul-2011

we need someone like him to partner RVP up front. he won't go to Chelsea because the likes of Falcao have been linked there, even more so now AVB is there, they have Drogba already, Anelka and Torres. not to mention young Danny Sturridge! I think he'd join a club where he'd play week in week out, which I think would happen if we were to join Arsenal. hopefully we'd go back to a 4-4-2 formation where we were at our best all those years ago.

Ashburton_Grove 2:10 pm, 14-Jul-2011

Keep dreaming! There is no way Le Wanker will break the bank to get him, because he's such a jackass egomaniac, he won't be able to say, "I discovered him and found him on the cheap." Wenger is a modern day Colonialist Slave trader, buying players from the developing world for nothing and paying them some of the lowest wages of the Top Four. Except Denilson, of course [ugh]. I wish David Dein was still at the club, we need someone like him to screw our head back on correctly.

BIG GUNS 2:48 pm, 17-Jul-2011

Things have change in the premier league, everyone kept talking about the invincible's that was then. We need big name players to have a chance to win the championship, when we develop the kinds they then leave. we need proven players to have any chance. So lets forget the invincibles, lets talk about now and the retarded manager at the team

The BearMan 3:52 pm, 17-Jul-2011

The Bear have keeping an eye on Lukaku for two seasons. Now I wait to see the Wenger move in action. The stage is all set at Arsenal for Lukaku, Question: Is he now ready for the challenge or go to a club where he remains in the shadow of others. Time to drop off the Drogba comparison!!

The BearMan 3:55 pm, 17-Jul-2011

Excuse the gramma folks: Suddenly the Bear has seen two potential Arsenal signings and is getting very excited.

Malaysia Fans (Arsenal FC) 3:56 pm, 17-Jul-2011

I cannot believe every single news published everyday around UK... Even from Arsene Wenger, or Arsenal member board, or news in the bloggers... Everybody HEATS ARSENAL FC... There feels happy if Arsenal FC and whole entities lies to Arsenal FC Collapsed and demolished... We are as a fan from Asia feels damn disappointed every morning when open the news about Arsenal FC, the story wrote how bad the situation of Arsenal FC... Arsene Wenger please WAKE_UP...!!! you are a person who in-charge to solve the problem around Arsenal FC now... Please AW, to solve the problem you MUST splash HUGE cash to a GREAT, GREAT, GREAT WORLD CLASS PLAYER!!!... We can see at NASRI face at Stadium Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last week... He was not happy at Arsenal at the moment... AW you should blame yourself... Chamakh is very weak and not fit into Arsenal squad... Adebayor much, mich more better tahn Chamakh... even Bentdner is better the chamakh... very poor performanced... Malaysian Player Gunalan in the wing left is better than chamakh... You should let go chamakh, Denilson, Eboe, Than buy world class player...!!! I am sure this session Arsenal FC will go down in the table, maybe top 15 or middle table... Arsenal FC cannot become a Champion this session... Clichy is right... Man City the huge contender for the champion this session... POOR ARSENE WENGER... END OF THIS SESSION>>> ARSENE WENGER YOU ARE FIRED!!!!

Malaysia Fans (Arsenal FC) 4:09 pm, 17-Jul-2011

Arsenal FC WILL BE SUFFRED THIS SESSION!!! AW are responsible every single mistake in the squad. He let us down and feel sad when look around into the news published everyday... Player will be suffered because of Arsenal FC youth and salary policy... Nasri and both are world class player and now felt desperate play for Arsenal Fc... They lost fighting spirit to play for Arsenal any more... If we lost both of them... Arsenal Fc will be really SUFFER this session... There will seat in the middle table... AW I lost my trust regarding your youth policy!!!

afc 4:27 pm, 17-Jul-2011

A: he will cost around 20 million....B: arsene wenger will not pay that much.....C: Chelsea mancity or united can all offer him more money and more wages than us.....D: he love drogba and Chelsea.....

dean 5:15 pm, 17-Jul-2011

for arsenal to compete with d likes of man.cty, liverpl etc, arsene need to sign @least 3 players. an attacker 'say lukaku', an attacking midfielder 'if one of fab or nasri leaves' and cahil. then we are good to go

Deji Glory 5:32 pm, 17-Jul-2011

Stop wasting your time in posting this kind of articles cos AW is not ready to sign that kind player for such amount. Barca 4 life xpecting my boy FAB very soon

Deji Glory 5:50 pm, 17-Jul-2011

Yes of course he can be arsenal's didier drogba but i don't see AW signing the youngster because of the price tag. We all know AW for that kind of person, he does'nt spend like that

RJMH 6:46 pm, 17-Jul-2011

He'll go to Chelsea. We've signed Joey Campbell for 1m peanuts. Gerviniho, Jenkinson, Campbell & some scandanavian 10yr old - presumaby that's what Wenger meant by a busy summer. Is it any wonder why 2 of our best players are desperate to leave?

madu chibike 6:52 pm, 17-Jul-2011

like it

Jenkinson 7:09 pm, 17-Jul-2011

Ashburton_grove - for God's sake stop moaning on about David Dein! He has been thrown out by the Arsenal Board, by Stan Kroenke and also by Alisher Usmanov. His son is Cesc's agent.

Dave 11:40 pm, 17-Jul-2011

Stupid comparison, stupid article. Drogba didn't come good until his mid-to-late twenties. This kid is a prodigy. There's no comparison.

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