SEATTLE -- For at least a night, Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku was the star of a Champions League-winning club after scoring a pair of goals in a 4-2 win over the Seattle Sounders Wednesday at CenturyLink Field.
After signing with Chelsea last summer, Lukaku has found himself on the outside looking in as the Premier League squad defeated Barcelona and Bayern en route to winning the world’s premier club competition. But against the MLS club, he was able to tally his first goals with the Blues.
“Even if it’s a friendly, it’s good for my confidence,” Lukaku said. “And we were able to win our first game as European champions, so it’s good.”
Chelsea is currently on a U.S. tour that includes matchups against PSG at Yankee Stadium this weekend and the MLS All-Stars next week in Chester, Pa. The friendlies provide Lukaku with a chance to prove himself to coach Roberto Di Matteo, who is entering his first full season with Chelsea.
Di Matteo wants to take a further look at Lukaku before deciding whether to let the 19-year-old leaves on loan. Fulham and Stoke City are among the teams to have express interest in the youngster, who appears open to a move if he is not guaranteed playing time at the London-based club.
“I just want the best for myself and for the club,” Lukaku said. “If I can stay here at Chelsea and be part of the starting 11 and score a lot of goals for the club and make my team win, that’s good for me and for the club as well. If I go on loan on another team and score goals and make an impact, that will be good as well.”
Lukaku has stiff competition for a striker spot in Di Matteo’s lineup with Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge currently ahead of him on the depth chart. Di Matteo revealed that he’s had talks with Lukaku at the beginning of preseason and that he is “keen to see him perform” for Chelsea.
“He is a danger and scores goals. That’s what a striker has to do in the team and it was interesting seeing him perform for the team,” Di Matteo said.
“We still have Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge to come back, so we have options and we can’t forget he [Lukaku] is a young boy. But I have been pleased and he is an interesting player for us.”
Lukaku made only 12 first-team appearances last season, starting his first league match against Blackburn during the last month of the campaign.
However, through all the difficulties, Lukaku would like to spend his career with Chelsea.
“I expect to be a Chelsea player for hopefully my career,” he said. “I just need to work hard and continue to do what’s best for the team.”
Gerald Narciso provided additional reporting to this article.