Everton striker Romelu Lukaku says Didier Drogba remains a hero to him
By Charlie McFaulds
Last Updated: 08/12/15 11:24pm
Everton striker Romelu Lukaku has revealed Didier Drogba remains a hero to him, despite curbing his career at Chelsea.
The 22-year-old managed just 15 matches for the Stamford Bridge side, before successful loan spells at West Brom and Everton paved way for a permanent switch to Goodison Park.
Lukaku had been described as the "new Drogba" when he arrived at Chelsea, and the comparison was made again on Monday by Alan Pardew after the player's performance in the 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace.
The Belgium international says Drogba was a major influence during his time in west London, along with Nicolas Anelka, Frank Lampard, John Terry and Fernando Torres.
"He is my idol and he knows it, but I am Romelu Lukaku and I am proud of my family name and I want to make my own story," he said.
"I respect Didier a lot but I think there are still differences in our style of play and I am a young player, I want to play at a high level and help my team-mates out and hopefully at the end of my career I can say I did my best to create a name for myself.
"I still speak to Drogba. He gives me tips all the time. We have had a really special relationship since day one.
"When I arrived at Chelsea, they put me next to him in the dressing room so that is when it started and I saw what a top professional he was - not just him but John Terry, Frank Lampard, Nicolas Anelka, Fernando Torres.
"As an 18-year-old, I was watching what they were doing and soaking it up and it was a good year of preparation.
"At the time, I was frustrated because I was playing a lot in Belgium at 17 and I had a great reputation, but looking back I think it helped me to be the player I am today."
Asked what he had learned most from the former Marseille forward, Lukaku said: "The determination to win. He was a leader.
"When the team needed him the most, he always delivered so that is what I aim for and hopefully one day I can say I was that type of player.
"I text him, I phone him, whenever I need him. I say, 'I did this today, this is going through my mind, how should I do this?' He knows what to say and what not to say, and that's what I like about him."