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Saturday, 6 August 2011

Romelu Lukaku is..... Didier Drogba

"Tell us about the person you're going to be tonight Romelu."

"The person I'm going to be tonight Matthew, was originally born in Adijan, Cote d'Ivoire. He made his name in the French league, but was a relatively late bloomer. He moved to Chelsea in July 2004 for £24 million, after winning Player of the Year as a Marseille player. He's a bit of a battering ram, but he falls over quite a fair bit. His biggest claim to fame is that he's scored more goals than any other foreign player for Chelsea, and he was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influental people for his peacemaking efforts in his home country."

"Well Romelu, he's quite well known isn't he? Bit of a superstar isn't he? We're all guessing. Go on then, put us all out of our misery. Tell us who you're going to be tonight."

"Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be.... Didier Drobga!

"Didier Drogba!!! Well he's got the build hasn't he? Let's hope he can score some great goals without ever screaming at the camera whilst wearing flip-flops after a contentious European defeat. Tonight, playing live - Romelu Lukaku is... Didier Drogba!"

The frame and musculature of a middle-weight boxer, searing pace, immense power, great in the air, and not bad at hitting the old onion bag. It's fair to say that there are several similarities between Romelu Lukaku and Didier Drogba. Now there's one more - they both play for Chelsea.

However, whilst Lukaku top scored in the Belgian Juliper League at age 16 and has made his big club move at age 18, Drogba was still playing youth football at a similar age, and didn't sign professional terms until he was 21. Who knows what Lukaku might achieve over the next three years?

Drogba is 33, and it's fair to say past his imperious best. He'll still scare the pants off defenders, but these days they'll probably have time to pull them back up and still beat him to that ball over the top. Lukaku is raw. Raw energy, raw power. In Drogba he'll find the perfect mentor. However, that actually depends on whether he finds the Drogba that pleaded with civil-war combatants to lay down their arms, or the Drogba who looked into a television camera at a Champions League game and shouted "It's a fucking disgrace".

If it's the former, my bet is that Romelu Lukaku could learn a lot from the veteran. Tricks of the trade, where and when to make a run, how his team-mates like to play, and even a few of the dark arts of the centre forward in the English Premier League. Hopefully, diving as if having been shot in the back of the head won't be on the young Belgian's curriculum.

Lukaku has already made big waves, and with the right guidance and training could go on to become one of the biggest things in football. I hope for his sake that Drogba doesn't go all aging-diva on him, although having won a league winners medal already, scoring 41 goals in 98 games in all competitions, he's way ahead of Drobga's curve - maybe he won't even need him.

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