Romelu Lukaku would be “a great option” for Chelsea if they are forced to find a replacement for Diego Costa, says Frank Lampard.
The Blues have put themselves in a position where a new frontman will be required this summer, with Antonio Conte informing Costa that he no longer figures in his plans.
The Spain international plundered 20 goals during a Premier League title success in 2016-17, with his attributes leading the line posing plenty of problems to opposition defences.
Lampard acknowledges that finding a successor will be difficult, with it possible that a move to bring Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge after three seasons at Everton will be the most logical decision.
The former Chelsea midfielder told Sky Sports: “I know Lukaku from playing with him at Chelsea.
“It was early on in his career and maybe Chelsea was too early for him, he didn’t get the chances and he has certainly developed to a huge degree since leaving the club.
“Lukaku would be a great option. The only thing Chelsea have to look at is the inflated market which is around now. It’s tough.
“In terms of an all-round striker who is proven to have scored goals last year at Everton and for the last two or three seasons in the Premier League, he would be an option. But there are others and I wouldn’t want to try and second guess Chelsea.
“I’m sure they will want to find a player of the same type as Diego Costa. They need a physical presence, they have got a lot of skilful players behind, but they will need to find someone who can replicate what Costa did – give them a physical presence but also get them 20-plus goals a season.”
On Costa, who could be leaving with 59 goals in 120 appearances and with two Premier League crowns, Lampard added: “He’s a fantastic striker. He will be very difficult to replace.
“I don’t know where Diego Costa’s mind is. If he stays, brilliant, if he doesn’t then you will have to go to the very top end of world strikers to replace him. That’s not easy to find.
“If Chelsea do lose him, they will have to make sure they get the right signing.”
Lukaku was signed by Chelsea in 2011 but made just 15 appearances for the club without finding the target.
He proved his worth, however, during loan spells and West Brom and Everton and completed a £28 million move to Goodison Park in the summer of 2014.