First order of business for Jose Mourinho at Chelsea is what to do with Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian international striker is due back at Stamford Bridge for pre-season training, after enjoying a season-long loan at West Brom, for whom he scored 17 Premier League goals.
He may only be 20-years-old, but Lukaku is ready to shoulder the burden of leading a top-flight attack, and has already suggested that he would rather go on loan again,than play a bit-part role at Chelsea.
The Blues already have Fernando Torres and Demba Ba to call on, and are expected to bring in a top new striker during the pre-season transfer window.
Lukaku is arguably as good as Torres and Ba right now, and certainly has a longer future in football ahead of him. One way or another, the Blues will surely make good on the £18 million they spent to bring him from Standard Liege as a teenager two years ago.
But it will be interesting to see what The Special One decides to do about the young striker, who is determined to make the most of his fresh legs and hot blood with paramount game time.
Mourinho knows Lukaku well. He was impressed by the striker when Real Madrid had a pre-season game in Liege in 2010, and Los Blancos were subsequently rumoured to be keen to sign him.
Lukaku’s raw talent is clear, but Mourinho may not be confident enough to trust Chelsea’s attack to him, in his make-or-break first season back at the Bridge.
Lukaku is determined to retain his place in the strong Belgian World Cup qualifying squad, as they bid to succeed with their golden generation, and he has heard the rumours of Chelsea’s interest in players like Edinson Cavani and Hulk with suspicion.
He will demand regular game time at Chelsea next season, or a loan to another top team in Europe. Either way, he is a taxing issue for The Special One to contend with.
Is Lukaku good enough to play regularly for Chelsea?