Chelsea seal signing of Anderlecht prodigy Lukaku

Chelsea FC have completed the signing of 18-year-old Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku from RSC Anderlecht on a day when goalkeeper Petr Čech was sidelined with a knee injury.

Romelu Lukaku scored 16 league goals last season
Romelu Lukaku scored 16 league goals last season ©Getty Images

Chelsea FC have continued their summer policy of investing in young players of prodigious ability by signing RSC Anderlecht's promising Belgian international striker Romelu Lukaku for a fee thought to be worth at least €20m.

The 18-year-old has moved to the Premier League club on a five-year deal after passing a medical. He becomes Chelsea's third teenage acquisition of the close season after 19-year-old KRC Genk goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who has been loaned to Club Atlético de Madrid, and Oriol Romeu, also 19, from FC Barcelona.

"He is a very interesting young prospect and we have to be able to position ourselves to be able to get this kind of talent," Chelsea manager André Villas-Boas said of the forward, who scored 33 goals in 72 Belgian top-flight matches for Anderlecht.

Lukaku started out at the K. Lierse SK academy, averaging more than a goal a game in their youth team before being signed by Anderlecht aged 13. He penned professional terms with the Brussels outfit on his 16th birthday, and made an immediate impact with 15 First League goals in Anderlecht's 2009/10 title-winning campaign.

The 1.90m Lukaku appeared in the UEFA Champions League play-offs for Les Mauves last season, scoring in the second leg as his side were eliminated by FK Partizan on penalties. The powerful front man went on to register 16 league goals last term and has already netted twice in nine senior internationals for Belgium.

Chelsea, meanwhile, could be without goalkeeper Petr Čech for the opening of their UEFA Champions League group stage programme on 13/14 September after the Czech international suffered a knee injury in training. The 29-year-old may face between three and four weeks on the sidelines, which would also rule him out of his country's UEFA EURO 2012 Group I qualifier in Scotland on 3 September.

 

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