Lukaku Similar Qualities To Drogba
Speaking exclusively to Genting, he said: “I think if I compare Didier [Drogba] and Romelu [Lukaku], I can’t remember one season where it was easy for Didier too, and he always came back on top at the end of the season.
“One of the main qualities that Drogba had was his resilience and I think Romelu has this quality as well.
“Romelu loves the club. He’s a Chelsea fan, he’s a player but he’s a Chelsea fan and he wants to be there. I think the fans must remember that he’s one of our own.
“Of course, it’s difficult for him because he was the star and the main striker at Inter Milan, every ball was aimed at him, so it’s a bit different.
“In terms of his potential, I think Lukaku is even more talented and gifted than Didier. At 18, Lukaku had already scored 50 goals and now he’s the leader of the Belgium national team.
“Lukaku is exactly the kind of player that we wish to have after Drogba. He is the perfect player to follow him, to follow Diego Costa. Chelsea need him. Chelsea haven’t had a player like him in the team since Costa.
“I expect Lukaku to deliver and come good like Didier always did, for the remainder of the season.
“The club won the Club World Cup. Who scored in the final? Romelu. How many chances did he have? Not many. He scored in the final, which is why Chelsea signed a player like him for a record amount of money, and he is paying that back.
“Of course, people will always speak about how he didn’t touch many balls and everything, but for him the most important thing is to be resilient and to focus on the opportunities he will have to prove himself.
“Didier was the same. When we won the Champions League, people have to look at the numbers, he did not play in many games. For Didier, that was a really difficult season, but every time, he showed up.”
Lukaku Needs Support
Malouda also explained that, for a striker to be successful, he must be adequately supported by his team-mates and the club’s fans – and called on Blues supporters to make Lukaku feel loved.
“I think any striker must also feel the confidence of the fans and the staff,” he continued.
“He wants to feel the love of the fans, that they want him to succeed. Strikers can be very sensitive, but that is because they have the most important role in the team: scoring goals.
“He is putting a lot of pressure on himself. For me, he belongs to Chelsea and we have to be patient. As I say, he will deliver, and he has delivered in an important final, with the club winning its first Club World Cup.
“Sometimes we’re so demanding. Maybe we want him to score more than 20 goals, but he scored a very, very important one on the big occasion. He was not that busy but he was there. It was a frustrating night for him, but he is working hard for the team.
“I’ve been in teams before where strikers were not touching the ball and they drop deeper and try to get on the ball and people will criticise and say, ‘why is he not staying in the box?’
“I think he’s patient. It’s frustrating for him because he wants to score two or three goals per game. He needs to trust the process and I think we, as Chelsea fans, need to support Romelu, or any player who plays for our club.
“As a player, you have your own confidence that you develop through the way you train – mastering your craft – but also, in the stadium there is a special energy and you want to feel the love of the fans, especially for offensive players.
“Of course, the fans want performances. They want the players to give everything. They want to win. This creates an atmosphere for the players. As I mentioned, offensive players scoring goals helps because you feel like the more you score the more people love you.
“I think that’s quite difficult for the offensive players at the moment because the club is winning trophies but the strikers are not scoring enough, so we want more, which is a good sign.
“But let’s not kill ourselves because we are too demanding. If we compare ourselves to other clubs, we are in a good position.
“We have top, top players, and many of the other teams wish they had our strike force. When confidence is in doubt, the love of your own fans can make all the difference.”
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