Lukaku wants second season at WBA
Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku wants to return on loan to West Brom for a second season to help him develop into "a great player" and be ready to fire when he eventually goes back to Stamford Bridge.
- Related Content
Lukaku is in his first campaign at The Hawthorns and scored his sixth goal for the Baggies when heading the winner in the 2-1 home success over Norwich.
Chelsea have the option to recall the 19-year-old during the January transfer window.
But Lukaku is keen to remain at West Brom and extend his stay for the 2013-2014 campaign to ensure he gains the experience and know-how for when he returns to the Blues.
Lukaku said: "I want to stay here. I've had so many questions in the last few weeks asking 'are you staying?'
"I have a lot of contact with Chelsea, but they are asking questions about my development and I tell them I'm very happy to be here.
"I have not spoken to the manager (Rafael Benitez) but I know what is going on. For me, it is one-year loan and then hopefully it may be one year again next season.
"I need to play as much as I can in the next two years. For me, it is very important to play week in and week out because, at 19, you want to develop and I hope to be one of the great players in the Premier League.
"That is my ambition but I have to be patient as well. I can learn a lot here, I can improve here.
"Chelsea know this season that I'm improving, and when I go back there, I want to be a much better player than when I arrived there.
"My main ambition is to start in the first XI in every game at Chelsea. Chelsea know I'm a player that is hungry to play football and they will benefit from that in the future."
Lukaku has praised the impact on his game of Albion boss Steve Clarke, himself a former Chelsea number two under Jose Mourinho.
17. Romelu Lukaku
He said: "I have a manager who wanted me from the beginning of the season and I have a great rapport with him.
"He's not scared to put me on the bench even if I played well the game before.
"It's really good to have a manager that is challenging me mentally and I like that because great players can always respond to that and hopefully I can be a great player in the future.
"In some games I don't play good and I score. Then in other games I play good and I don't score so I have to find the balance in that.
"Hopefully I can find that balance because big players play well and score as well. I want to be one of those. For me it is very challenging."
Clarke has seen the strides made by Lukaku during the opening half of the campaign.
He said: "When Romelu came here, I saw a boy with little confidence about the fact that he came over here for a lot of money and had not had many chances to play in the Premier League.
"Now he has more confidence, his touch is improving, his work rate is better. It can improve again. I keep telling him his workrate can get better.
"But he is a handful for defenders and I think you can say his all round performances have improved.
"He has become more of a team player but still with the knack of being in the right place."
Clarke will also have striker Peter Odemwingie's services during January after he was not selected by Nigeria for the African Nations Cup.
The Albion boss said: "Peter made himself available for Nigeria and they chose not to pick him.
"He is obviously slightly disappointed that they have made that choice but he is delighted that he can stay and help us.
"I spoke to him and it is the choice of the Nigerian coach and he respects that choice. But he looks forward to helping us get a few more points instead of going away."