For me he’s the best player in the world: EPL legend tip Lukaku to win balloon d’or

He’s a killer’: J.Cole says Lukaku will finish as this year’s UCL top scorer

Joe Cole has backed ‘killer’ Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku to finish as the Champions League’s top goalscorer this season after he earned the Blues a win over Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday.

The Belgian forward scored his fourth goal in four matches since rejoining the west London club for £98million this summer by heading in Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross with little over 20 minutes to go during the 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

Cole admitted that Lukaku was not at his best on Tuesday night but said his clinical nature makes him the perfect man to lead the club’s Champions League defence under Thomas Tuchel.

‘It’s a match made in heaven for both sides,’ said Cole, speaking about Lukaku’s recent move to Chelsea. ‘He’s really put the full package together.

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‘I’m going to throw this out there, I think he’ll be top scorer in the Champions League this season.

‘Lukaku didn’t even have one of his better games, he was a little bit scruffy but he’s a finisher now, a killer. Once that ball was delivered there was only going to be one winner, he’s a great finisher.’

The Champions League top goalscorer prize has been dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the past decade and a half, with only Neymar, Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland managing to share the prize in recent years.

Dortmund striker Haaland, who was linked with a move to Chelsea over the summer before Lukaku joined, was last year’s winner with 10 goals in Europe’s premier club competition.

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But Lewandowski staked his claim for the prize alongside Lukaku on Tuesday night by netting a brace in Bayern Munich’s 3-0 win at Barcelona, while Ronaldo also got on the scoresheet during Manchester United’s 2-1 loss at Young Boys.

Fellow BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand added that Lukaku is embracing the responsibility of being Chelsea’s talisman this season and described him as the man to get Chelsea over the line in matches this term.

‘He’s the talisman in this team now, he’s their go-to guy,’ said Ferdinand. ‘If there’s a problem with finishing a game, in the short time he’s been there he’s already proving that when there’s an opportunity there to be had, he’s got ice in his veins.

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‘He wants it, he wants the responsibility and he’ll deliver it. He is the man at Stamford Bridge now who they look to to win games.

‘When you’ve got someone up front like that it’s a beautiful feeling. You just think, let me do my job and he will get us over the line. Tuchel has made them hard to play against, now they’ve got the weapon to execute games.’

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