Premier League

Romelu Lukaku hopes to see out season-long loan agreement at West Brom

Romelu Lukaku: Enjoying his time at West Brom and hopes to avoid being called back to Chelsea

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Romelu Lukaku hopes Chelsea will allow him to see out a season-long loan at West Brom, rather than recall him in January.

A clause in the agreement which took Lukaku to The Hawthorns back in August means Chelsea can call him back to Stamford Bridge in the New Year should they so wish.

With there having been a change in manager in west London since Lukaku headed through the exits, and with Chelsea short on striking options, it has been suggested that Rafa Benitez will take the opportunity to take a look at a player he is yet to work with.

Lukaku, though, is enjoying the regular football on offer at West Brom and believes it would be beneficial to all concerned if he was allowed to see out the campaign in the Midlands, before heading out on loan again next season.

The 19-year-old Belgium international said: "I want to stay here. I've had so many questions in the last few weeks asking 'are you staying?' I have a lot of contact with Chelsea, but they are asking questions about my development and I tell them I'm very happy to be here.

"I have not spoken to the manager (Benitez) but I know what is going on. For me, it is one year loan and then hopefully it may be one year again next season.

"I need to play as much as I can in the next two years. For me, it is very important to play week in and week out because, at 19, you want to develop and I hope to be one of the great players in the Premier League. That is my ambition but I have to be patient as well. I can learn a lot here, I can improve here.

"Chelsea know this season that I'm improving, and when I go back there, I want to be a much better player than when I arrived there.

"My main ambition is to start in the first XI in every game at Chelsea. Chelsea know I'm a player that is hungry to play football and they will benefit from that in the future."

Boost

Meanwhile, West Brom have received welcome news regarding Lukaku's fellow forward Peter Odemwingie, with the Nigeria international set to be available throughout January after being overlooked for Africa Cup of Nations duty.

Albion boss Steve Clarke said: "Peter made himself available for Nigeria and they chose not to pick him.

"He is obviously slightly disappointed that they have made that choice but he is delighted that he can stay and help us.

"I spoke to him and it is the choice of the Nigerian coach and he respects that choice. But he looks forward to helping us get a few more points instead of going away."