• Premier League

Lukaku lashes out at Chelsea over treatment

ESPN staff
August 15, 2012
Romelu Lukaku barely played for Chelsea last season © Getty Images

Romelu Lukaku has taken a parting shot at Chelsea following his loan move to West Brom, claiming that a difficult debut season for the Blues made him fall out of love with football.

Lukaku, 19, arrived at Stamford Bridge to a fanfare last August after emerging as a teenage prodigy at Anderlecht.

However, the Belgium international failed to justify his £18 million price tag in a frustrating 2011-12 campaign, with first-team opportunities proving limited under first Andre Villas-Boas and then Roberto Di Matteo.

Lukaku made just 12 appearances - four of them starts - in all competitions and despite Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou departing over the summer, he felt he would be better served looking elsewhere for regular football.

The 6'3" striker completed a loan move to West Brom last week but has now taken a swipe at his parent club for their treatment of him.

"I couldn't see myself staying at Chelsea. I sacrificed a year of my career with them and didn't want to put up with it any more,' Lukaku said, according to the Daily Star.

"I decided in March I wanted to go out on loan, and told my agent to find me a club. I am relieved to have found a solution. On the first day of pre-season I told the manager I wanted to leave.

"Roberto Di Matteo told me I ought to think about Chelsea as there weren't going to be many other strikers this season, but this is the time for me to think about myself.

"I got sick of watching the others from the bench. I just played 12 games and when I was playing well, they would take me off. I lost my hunger for the game over the past year. I won't beat about the bush  my season at Chelsea went very badly.

"As regards getting minutes on the pitch, I wasted my time. Last season I was in the reserves alongside a young lad who'd barely turned 15 and I asked myself what I was doing there."

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