Lukaku happy to be at West Brom
Romelu Lukaku has spoken of his relief at securing a loan move to West Brom, with first-team opportunities proving hard to come by at Chelsea.
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18. Romelu Lukaku
The Belgium international arrived at Stamford Bridge from Anderlecht last summer with a big reputation and a billing as a potential Premier League star of the future.
He was, however, handed just one league start during his debut campaign and grew increasingly restless on the sidelines.
A pre-season talk with Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo has opened the door to a loan switch, with it important for the 19-year-old to get games.
He admits he did not want to 'sacrifice' another season on the bench at Chelsea and believes his game will benefit greatly from a spell at The Hawthorns under the guidance of former Blues coach Steve Clarke.
"I couldn't see myself staying at Chelsea," said Lukaku.
"I sacrificed a year of my career with them and didn't want to put up with it anymore.
"I decided in March I wanted to go out on loan, and told my agent to find me a club. I am relieved to have found a solution.
"On the first day of pre-season I told the manager I wanted to leave. Roberto Di Matteo told me I ought to think about Chelsea as there weren't going to be many other strikers this season, but this is the time for me to think about myself.
"I got sick of watching the others from the bench. I just played 12 games and when I was playing well, they would take me off.
"I lost my hunger for the game over the past year. I won't beat about the bush - my season at Chelsea went very badly.
"As regards getting minutes on the pitch, I wasted my time. Last season I was in the reserves alongside a young lad who'd barely turned 15 and I asked myself what I was doing there.
"It's good for my development to leave London. I can bounce back at a mid-table club. Steve Clarke constantly phoned me when I was on Chelsea's US tour. I am very happy to join West Brom."