Lukaku 'relieved' to have left Chelsea after frustrating debut season

The forward, who recently joined West Bromwich Albion on a season-long loan, believes he wasted his time seeking first-team chances and described his transfer as a "liberation"
Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku has hit out at his parent club for the lack of playing opportunities he received during his first season at the club.

The Belgium international recently joined West Bromwich Albion on a season-long loan and described his relief at finding a way to play regular football in the Premier League.

Lukaku revealed that he asked for a temporary switch away from Stamford Bridge immediately after returning for preseason training.

"I couldn’t see myself staying at Chelsea," Lukaku told The Sun. "I sacrificed a year of my career with them and didn’t want to put up with it any more.

"I am relieved to have found a solution. On the first day of preseason I told the manager I wanted to leave."

The 19-year old starlet went on to admit that he lost his appetite for the game last season despite being part of a squad which won both the FA Cup and the Champions League.

Lukaku added that Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo had asked him to consider staying at the club following the departure of Didier Drogba, but he believes his development will be best-served elsewhere.

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

"I got sick of watching the others from the bench. I played only 12 games and when I was playing well they would take me off.

"I lost my hunger for the game over the past year. As regards getting minutes on the pitch, I wasted my time. I am very happy to join West Brom — it feels like liberation."