Opposition Talk: ‘Lukaku is the missing piece of the Chelsea jigsaw’

How do you think your team will get on this season?

I very much have high hopes for Chelsea this season. Having won the Champions League and following the addition of Romelu Lukaku, I have full belief in this Chelsea side. Though I don’t see us retaining our European crown, I’m confident that we can challenge for the Premier League title and win either the Carabao or FA Cup too.

Can you really believe that you won last season’s Champions League?

I couldn’t quite believe that we had won the Champions League. It was such a special moment for both the players and us supporters to see us win our second ever European crown. In a season that had seen Frank Lampard sacked as manager, bringing in Thomas Tuchel was quite possibly the best decision the club has made.

Is there any new signing that opposing teams should watch out for?

Aside from acquiring Lukaku, currently one of the best strikers in world football, we didn’t exactly do much business over the summer. However, one player that opposing teams should keep a close eye on is Ruben Loftus-Cheek. After a failed loan move with Fulham last season, Thomas Tuchel has given him a chance that he has taken so far. The midfielder still has the potential to be something special.

What were your initial thoughts when you signed Lukaku?

When I first heard the news that Lukaku was heading back to west London, I was very excited about the prospect of what he could bring to the club. A huge problem we had faced last season was the lack of goals within the team and now Lukaku has joined we have finally found the missing piece of the jigsaw.

Do you think, following their takeover, that Newcastle will do a ‘Chelsea’ now?

The Newcastle takeover was no doubt seen as great news for the Magpies faithful. After everything the club has had to go through under Mike Ashley, Newcastle at last have something to smile about. However, to think they will do a ‘Chelsea’ may take a lot longer than it did with us. When you look at Newcastle’s team though, there are a lot of other areas in the club that need to be fixed before we see a side that can challenge the ‘big six’ but I’m sure they will be there within a few years.

Do you think West Ham will be able to sustain their performances from last season?

After the season West Ham had under David Moyes, I don’t see why not. The core of the squad is still very much together with most notably Declan Rice staying at the club. Not only that, the additions of Kurt Zouma, Alphonse Areola, Alex Kral and Nikola Vlasic will be key for the Hammers this season.

As it’s Mark Noble’s last season do you have any vivid memories of him playing against your team?

A memory I have from Mark Noble is in 2009. We were playing West Ham at Upton Park and the Hammers were awarded a penalty. At the time Chelsea were only 1-0 up so this penalty was crucial to get West Ham back in the game. Noble steps up and Czech saves on the right-hand side of his goal. Considering Noble is one of Europe’s best penalty takers it was great to experience a save.

What’s your score prediction for our game?

I’m going to predict a 2-1 Chelsea win.

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