Rio Ferdinand has claimed Romelu Lukaku will be doubly determined to punish Man Utd after the way his Old Trafford career ended, and claimed a ‘vital’ Chelsea star must not be sidelined.
The Belgian hitman, 28, appears on course to secure a return to the club he left in 2014. Chelsea have reportedly agreed a club-record deal worth £97.5m to finally solve their issues at centre-forward.
Lukaku has scored with regularity wherever he has played, though took a giant leap forward with Inter Milan.
He notched at least 30 goals across all competitions in each of his last two seasons, and has operated at exactly one goal per game on the international stage for four-and-a-half-years.
His prowess has clearly made a big impression on Ferdinand, who told the FIVE YouTube channel (via the Express): “I’ve spoken to him recently and he’s hungry man.
“He hasn’t confirmed to me that he’s signing for Chelsea but he just said this season, he’s hungry.”
Lukaku was never revered during his stint with Man Utd between 2017-19. Often mocked for his dubious first touch, Ferdinand believes Lukaku will be doubly determined to put right the wrongs he experienced at Old Trafford.
“I just think this guy, a lot of greatness comes through having fuel. What I mean by that is having doubters and wanting to prove them wrong,” added the pundit.
“He’s got a whole stadium full at Manchester United who doubted him, all the fanbase at Old Trafford doubted him. A lot of people weren’t too dissatisfied when he left.
“He will be sitting there and looking in the diary to see when that Old Trafford game is and he will want to unload.”
Chelsea star Lukaku is replacing still ‘vital’ – Ferdinand
Lukaku will be bought to give the Blues a clinical edge in the final third. Timo Werner was acquired to do just that last year, though the German notably struggled in front of goal.
Nevertheless, Ferdinand believes Werner’s all-action displays and ability to create space and chances for team-mates must not be overlooked.
“Romelu Lukaku guarantees you 20 goals, minimum” he added. “He guarantees you that. He’s scored goals wherever he’s been, he’s an elite goalscorer, it’s as simple as that,” Ferdinand added.
“If he gets the chances that Timo Werner got last year, he bangs 30-35 goals, it’s as simple as that. I think Werner will still be vital for them with how he runs off the ball and creates space.
“Chelsea have heavy artillery up front now. A real mix of talent, all different type of players, a real good blend. Lukaku going there makes them an absolute threat to win the title. They could win it.”