Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku said on Monday believes he is now a “complete” striker as the club’s record signing settles back into life at Stamford Bridge.
Lukaku rejoined Chelsea in a £98 million ($135 million) move from Inter Milan last week.
The 28-year-old was unavailable for Chelsea’s 3-0 win against Crystal Palace in their Premier League opener on Saturday.
But Lukaku could make his debut in Sunday’s trip to Arsenal and the Belgium forward plans to show how much he has developed since the last time he played for the Blues.
Almost 10 years after arriving in west London as an unknown teenager, Lukaku returns as one of the world’s top strikers.
“I just feel more complete; I’ve tried to master all the facets that a striker needs and I just want to keep improving on the small details all the time and keep improving on my strengths as well,” Lukaku told Chelsea’s website.
“I just want to try to help the team win and be available for the manager as well as for my teammates.
“I want to make sure that they feel comfortable and they can lean on me in whatever situation we’re in.
“The two years in Italy helped me master all the facets of the game for a striker and now I’m ready.”
Lukaku fired 27 goals and laid on 11 assists last term as Inter stormed to the Serie A title.
However, one of the key differences in Lukaku from his last stint in the Premier League with Manchester United is his incredible body transformation.
As images of his Chelsea unveiling were out on social media, many posts comparing the new-look Lukaku to his Manchester United days surfaced online.
The difference is quite staggering.
Lukaku weighed 104kgs at Inter Milan and was placed on a strict diet at Inter Milan. While at Manchester United he was 4kg overweight and was suffering from a malfunctioning digestive system that neither the player nor the club had understood at the time.
But at Inter he changed his course and got fitter by the day.
“When I joined Inter we did an analysis of my body and a lot has changed,” Lukaku told Inter’s official podcast regarding his diet.
“I eat a lot of salad and fish, which has a great effect on me. I take carnitine, it makes me feel good, and I take vitamins. I eat salad for lunch, a lot of chicken breast, shirataki noodles. Since following this lifestyle I feel better on the pitch, more responsive and faster. I have reached another level, physically and mentally.” he added.
For most players joining the Premier League, adapting to the English top flight is a challenge but the Belgian has vast experience of the Premier League after stints with West Brom, Everton and Manchester United.
Perfect signing for Chelsea
Chelsea struggled for goals at times last season, but Lukaku is confident he can fill any role required by boss Thomas Tuchel.
“The conversation was really clear from him, that he wants me to be a presence and a leader in the team,” Lukaku said.
“If he wants me to be a focal point or if he wants me to attack the spaces in behind, I can do it.
“It’s not like I’m a new player coming in and not quite knowing what to expect. I know the league, I’ve scored a fair amount of goals here but the past is the past and now we have to look forward.
“I’m a new version of that player from before. I’ve evolved and the team that I’m joining is a very strong team so now we just have to prove it on the pitch by challenging for the Premier League.”
Lukaku also revealed he continues to lean on former Chelsea and Ivory Coast star Didier Drogba for advice.
“Our relationship means the world to me. It’s not like we talk once a month, I talk to the guy every few days!” Lukaku said.
“We have a group chat so we’re constantly communicating and I’ve been on the phone with him a bit more in the past two weeks.
“I had a lot of questions to ask and he still knows a lot of people here so he really prepared me well with the last details.”
(With AFP inputs)