Given the time difference between London and the Far East, following the final day of the transfer window in this part of the world means either staying up all night to keep abreast of all the news from reporters camped outside every Premier League training ground or getting up early to catch the final bits of drama as the window slams shut at our breakfast time.

Now although Chelsea are usually one of the most active teams during each transfer window, most of our business is usually sorted out well before 11pm on the first working day in September and so there is usually little reason to stay up to see who is coming or going at the (ahem) 11th hour.

There have been exceptions – the summer of 2003 when just about every big name was linked with the Blues following the arrival of our new owner, the summer of 2008 when our pursuit of Robinho was hijacked right at the end by Manchester City (not too bad an outcome for us as it turned out) and January 2011 when the signings of Fernando Torres and David Luiz went right down to the wire.

And the climax of this summer’s transfer window did generate some interest for Blues fans but this time around, it was because of who was likely to leave rather than who was coming in.

With all of our buying done, the question at 10.30pm (our time) on Monday, about eight hours before the end of the transfer window, was where Demba Ba would be headed, given our surplus of strikers.

But then the annoying gossip about Juan Mata started up all over again and depending on which news website you happened to read, he was about to sign for either Paris Saint-Germain (plausible), Arsenal (unlikely), Spurs (highly unlikely) or on loan to Liverpool (laughingly impossible).

Now despite the fact that everyone at the Bridge has spent the past month shooting down rumours that Mata was on his way out, the PSG link was a bit worrying and it kept me up for a couple more hours, nervously refreshing my tablet every few minutes for the latest updates on the situation.

But with no new information coming through about either Ba or Mata as the media switched their attention to Arsenal’s pursuit of Mesut Ozil and Gareth Bale’s hopeless attempt at keepy-uppy at the Bernabeu, I called it a night and went to bed hoping that the Mata stories were just space-fillers.

So I was relieved to see and read absolutely nothing about our Spaniard when I got up the following morning. The complete lack of news on him seemed to suggest that whoever had conjured up the rumours had quietly slunk into their corner, embarrassed to be associated with whatever tripe they had been peddling to us.

However, I still did a double take when I read the news that it was not Ba who was leaving Stamford Bridge but Romelu Lukaku. There had been absolutely no indication of the Belgian striker’s impending departure so the news that he would be loaned out to Everton for the season probably took the majority of us Chelsea fans by complete surprise.

It took some time for that news to sink in and my initial impression (like many of you, I’m sure) was that it didn’t make much sense to allow one of the club’s most promising and popular young players to be headed elsewhere for the campaign. But once you get past the initial emotional reaction, you have to admit that the loan deal makes perfect sense to all involved.

Everton get the services for the next few months of a highly-talented and solidly-built striker who proved at West Brom last season that he has the ability to star in the Premier League.

Lukaku will get a lot more playing time then he might have managed as a third or fourth choice striker at the Bridge this season which will not only aid his development as a Premier League player but also keep him happy as he looks to make an impression on Belgium national manager Marc Wilmots ahead of next year’s World Cup.

And Chelsea can look forward in a year’s time to having a brilliant young player with exceptional power and technical ability and a couple of good seasons of Premier League experience behind him.

Let’s remember that Lukaku is still only 20, six years younger than his idol, Didier Drogba, was when he first arrived at Chelsea. And even the Ivorian took a couple of seasons to properly adapt to the rigours of playing in the Premier League before he became almost an unstoppable force of nature in the 2006/07 season which helped to cement his reputation as a Chelsea legend.

Lukaku certainly has the talent and ability to succeed at the highest level and his willingness to go out on another year-long loan shows that he also has the right attitude in place to ultimately also become a Blues legend.

As Chelsea fans, we all want to see him succeed and another season of fine-tuning elsewhere should hopefully make the Belgian striker almost unplayable when he does return to the Bridge in 2014.



Please note : the views in many of our blogs are written by fans of Chelsea FC and are not necessarily the views of the club

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