Chelsea's £97.5 million ($134.7m) summer signing Romelu Lukaku has said he can already see that his new teammates are “hungry” for more success.
Lukaku has returned to Stamford Bridge after first leaving the London club on a permanent deal to Everton in 2014 and then going on to play for Manchester United and Italian side Inter Milan.
Last season, he helped Inter win their first Serie A title since 2010, finishing second in top-scorers chart behind Cristiano Ronaldo having scored 24 goals for Antonio Conte's side.
Despite Inter's financial problems and Conte's exit, Lukaku initially said he would be staying on at the club but as the summer progressed, it became clear that the reigning European champions were keen on re-signing the Belgian striker.
A club record deal was struck and Lukaku was back. Chelsea have already secured their first trophy of the new campaign when Thomas Tuchel's side defeated Villarreal on penalties in the Uefa Super Cup and the 28-year-old insists he can already tell that the squad has a winning mentality.
“It's a good feeling,” said Lukaku in a press conference on Wednesday. "The guys are hungry, they want to keep winning, I can see from the last couple of training sessions that there is a good intensity.
“The coach is very clear with his ideas, everybody wants to work hard and keep improving. Those things really fit with my ambitions.
“I think the next couple of weeks is important to communicate with the players around me. I don't think I have to adapt too much because with Belgium, we play in a similar system.”
Lukau watched Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 3-0 on the opening weekend of the Premier League season while he quarantined and said he is ready to play in their next match against Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday. “Yeah, I've done a full pre-season,” he said. “For now, I just want to get my teammates better, and then at the end of the day I'm available for the manager if he wants to play me.”
And when he does get back on the pitch for his first Premier League appearance since 2019, fans can expect a new and improved Lukaku on show, wearing the No 9 shirt vacated by Tammy Abraham after he moved to Italian side Roma.
“Maturity, maturity has been important. I think I've learnt much more about myself, setting higher standards,” he said. “As a player, it's about becoming more complete. In Italy, the game is different, there are tighter spaces, it's more technical and tactical, which helped me a lot.
“The English game is different but for me it's not something new. Whatever plan the coach has, I can adapt myself and help the team.”
Chelsea 3 Crystal Palace 0: player ratings