Chelsea paid £97.5m to sign Romelu Lukaku, and the Belgian hasn’t taken long to prove that it was money well spent.
With four goals in four games, Lukaku is expected to lead Chelsea to great heights this season, and the 28-year-old is the missing ingredient that was lacking in the team last season.
Against Zenit, it took a header from Lukaku to seal the victory for Chelsea.
Former Chelsea star Joe Cole waxed lyrical about Lukaku following his Champions League performance against Zenit, and hailed him as the complete package.
Cole said: “Before the season, everyone knew Chelsea were in the market for a No.9 – and realistically, there were only five names who were going to cut it.
“You are looking at Lewandowski, Haaland, Mbappe, Ronaldo and Lukaku, all of them in the very top bracket.
“None of them comes cheap because they are the best in the business, but when you break it down, and look at the attributes Chelsea needed, Lukaku was a great piece of business.
“We’re talking about a proven goalscorer, who is 28 and at the peak of his powers. The complete package – pace, power, great in the air, a finisher, the lot.
“Why did he leave Chelsea in the first place? You can have the same conversation about Kevin De Bruyne and Mo Salah, but there’s no mystery about Lukaku coming back to the club.
“When you are the champions of Europe, to defend your title you need the very best players – right here, right now, not next week or next year.
“You can’t be like Tottenham or Arsenal, taking on players at 21 or 22 and looking to develop them over a few years – Chelsea need that firepower now.
“When he looks back at the end of his career, maybe Romelu will accept he wasn’t ready to lead the line for Chelsea eight or nine years ago, and that he needed to make that journey round the houses to release his potential.
“But this is the right time for him to take on the responsibility, and he will give Chelsea that extra four or five percent which could help them win the Champions League again.”