With Swansea rumoured to be looking to bring the Belgian striker to South Wales, how did he compare with Michu this season?
|Romelu Lukaku. Age:20 Height: 6'3"|
I'm still very skeptical regarding our prospects of landing Romelu Lukaku on loan next season. Ok, so certain things do add up; Lukaku himself has stated that he'd like to go out on loan next season again if he's not going to be regularly included in the Chelsea squad, but for the life of me I can't figure out why he wouldn't be. Europe's highest scoring teenager this term, it's remarkable to me that more attention isn't being paid to a player who finished the season by scoring a hat-trick against Manchester United.
It's possible that as the summer unfolds more clubs may come in for him, but with Chelsea looking set to appoint Jose Mourinho it's likely he'll fancy bringing in his own striker from elsewhere, so it may well be that Lukaku finds himself looking at another loan move. While West Brom do play a slightly more direct style of football than the Swans, looking at his performance this season against Michu's isn't that much of a squiff comparison as, for the second season running, the Swans finished the season in very close proximity to the Baggies. When you consider that Michu hit 18 goals to Lukaku's 17, it would seem to indicate that the team's around them also fared similarly.
|Miguel Michu. Age: 27 Height: 6'1"|
Michu made 35 starts in the league, and while Lukaku made the same number of appearances 15 of those were off the bench, so he's starting to look good already. His pass completion is 72.1% (averaging 16.3 successful passes per game) to Michu's 78.7% (32 PPG), but in fairness to the Belgian he plays the same amount of key passes per game as Michu (1) and has four assists - double that of the Spaniard. They both average around three shots a game (Lukaku has 2.8 and Michu 3.1), but when you look at dribbles again the former Anderlecht man comes out on top, successfully going past his man 0.9 times a game to Michu's 0.2. In fairness to Michu, no-one is expecting him to go on a mazy dribble and beat five men...
Interestingly, when you look at defensive stats it seems Michu puts a shift in. The Spaniard makes 1.3 tackles per game to Lukaku's 0.2, and 0.9 interceptions per game to the Belgian's 0.1. That does result, however in Michu fouling his man more than twice as often - 1.4 times per game as opposed to Lukaku's 0.6, but a foul a game isn't that bad a thing. Keeps the defenders on their toes and all that. Michu also makes 1.1 clearances per game - again a much bigger number than the 0.3 managed by Lukaku - but to be honest I'm not that fussed on our striker tracking back and putting himself about. When you look at goals scored v minutes played, Lukaku has 17 goals in 2146 minutes while Michu has 18 in 3171 - the Spaniard has played around 50% more football so for the young Chelsea striker to have got 17 goals in a mid-table side is truly an impressive achievement. It works out that Lukaku has a goal every 126 minutes, while Michu has one every 176.
It seems in every department (apart from defense, but we don't want him doing that) Lukaku really is a class act, and seeing as he only turned 20 ten days ago there is a whole load of room for improvement too. As has been stated, Europa League football could be the clincher but that's assuming no other club who've qualified for Europe come in for him, which seems a stretch of the imagination. That being said, the only other suitor being mooted at the moment is West Ham, which, as I mentioned yesterday, I don't think we have to worry about. Big Sam? Ha.
All in all, a very impressive set of numbers from the Belgian. Obviously, you have to watch him play to know whether he'll fit the team but from everything I've seen of him he seems a class act, and what's more I've also heard he's tee-total and very much a good egg. Only Van Persie, Berbatov and Benteke had better "chance conversion rates" than Lukaku this season, who converted 21% of opportunities presented to him, and it's likely with increased game time and experience his level of performance will kick on again, and I for one would have no objection to that happening in South Wales.
Michu & Lukaku up front? Yes please. Sign him up!