AVB - Lukaku can be a star
Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas is more than aware of the threat posed by West Brom's Romelu Lukaku despite overlooking him at Chelsea.
Last Updated: 24/08/12 4:07pm
Tottenham Hotspur boss Andre Villas-Boas is more than aware of the threat posed by West Bromwich Albion's Romelu Lukaku despite overlooking the striker for the majority of last season at Chelsea.
The teenager arrived at Stamford Bridge last summer with high expectations following his £18million transfer from Anderlecht but Villas-Boas snubbed the 19-year-old for almost all of the season.
Lukaku made just three starts under the Portuguese - all in the League Cup - and had to wait until after Villas-Boas was sacked before he began a Premier League game for the Blues.
The big striker has started this season with a bang, however, after coming off the bench to score for Belgium against Holland last week and then finding the net on his West Brom debut against Liverpool.
Lukaku is likely to line up for Albion against Villas-Boas' Tottenham on Saturday and the former Chelsea manager is convinced the Belgian can make waves in the top flight at the midlands club, where he is on a season-long loan.
"I think he is ready for the Premier League," said Villas-Boas. "He is obviously a player with tremendous talent that competed last year against two of the world's best players at Chelsea.
"Lukaku had frustrations last year that you can understand. It's up to him to compete but when you compete against Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba the job is difficult.
"Had he overtaken those two to be on team selection every weekend it would have been a tremendous achievement for a 19-year-old."
Another familiar face Villas-Boas will run in to on Saturday is Baggies manager Steve Clarke, who he worked with under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.
Like Villas-Boas, Clarke has moved from the backroom staff to be a manager in his own right and he started his tenure at The Hawthorns with a highly-impressive 3-0 defeat of Liverpool.
Clarke turned down other management positions before taking the helm at West Brom and Villas-Boas is sure the Scot will be a success at the club.
"Steve has taken his steps very wisely and I'm happy he has achieved his ambition of becoming a manager," Villas-Boas said.
"I respect him a lot because he took those steps very sensibly. He got the opportunity to be in the Premier League in a club as well organised as West Brom where he can build something extremely good. It's an excellent opportunity for him so I am very happy for him."