Didier Drogba revealed that he views Romelu Lukaku “like a son”, and backed him to prove his Manchester United critics wrong.
Lukaku called time on a mixed two-year spell with United in the summer in favour of a €65m transfer to Inter Milan.
The Belgian striker has since scored three goals in his opening seven Serie A appearances to help Antonio Conte’s side become Juventus’ main threat for this season’s crown.
And now Lukaku’s old Chelsea team-mate Drogba has backed him to prove himself as one of the best strikers around at Inter while recalling their days alongside each other at Stamford Bridge.
“Romelu is like a son to me,” the Ivorian told HLN.
“When he came to our cloakroom in Chelsea at the time, there was an immediate click between us.
“Also because he literally knew everything about me. Romelu could describe in detail every goal I had ever scored. In fact, he even knew which football boots I had played with. (laughs)
“But it wasn’t because of that knowledge that we agreed well. Because of Romelu’s personality. It is so beautiful. ”
“He shows respect for everyone. And he is eager to learn – he constantly came to ask for advice.
“Now, by the way, it happens regularly that we have contact. He knows he can always come to me.
”Not least when it seems like the whole globe is against Lukaku. But that criticism shows that Romelu is world top. Only later will the supporters realize how good Romelu was when they look at his achievements.
“Now they are used to their phenomenal performances – success is used, also for the fans – but there comes a time when that is no longer the case. And then only the memory remains. (pauses for a moment) Ah, that is not immediately, though.
“Romelu is still not at its top, has a lot of progression. He is only getting better. ”
Lukaku took his tally up to 51 goals in just 83 appearances after scoring a brace in Belgium’s 9-0 win over San Marino on Thursday.