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Exclusive - Lukaku set to stay at West Brom

Sport | Published:

West Brom striker Romelu Lukaku today claimed he is confident he will remain at the Hawthorns for the rest of the season.

The Belgium international, who hopes to start tonight's Premier League game at Swansea, does not expect to be recalled by Chelsea in January despite helping the Baggies climb above his parent club.

The Blues could cut short the 19-year-old's season-long loan in the January transfer window but Lukaku said: "I don't think about the option. I am very happy to be here for one year.

"Hopefully, this season will end very well and we will see what happens in the future.

"After January, I am sure I will be at West Brom. I am very happy to know that in my head.

"Hopefully, I will do well for the rest of the season."

Lukaku does not believe the appointment of Rafa Benitez as interim Chelsea boss will affect the chances of a recall and he insisted he is determined to keep West Brom above his 'parent club.'

He said: "I don't think things will change. I think he has his plans and I am happy with the team here.

"If I focus too much on Chelsea it wouldn't be good for me, so I will focus on being here.

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"In my head, I am here for a year and it has to be clear I am here for a year and not for six months.

"I knew if I came here I would do my best for the team.

"Now we are above Chelsea and, hopefully, it will stay like that but you never know.

"We have to be focused on ourselves, we need to win game after game and look game after game and try to win everything that we can."

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Lukaku could get his fourth Premier League start for Albion tonight if boss Steve Clarke chooses to rest leading scorer Shane Long after the Republic of Ireland international started Saturday's 4-2 win at Sunderland.

And the former Anderlecht man believes his time at the Hawthorns had already been vital for his career.

He said: "I am learning a lot. I think I'm a much better player than last year or the two years before.

"I think I'm in the best shape I have ever been in since I started playing at 16.

"Hopefully, I can make something out of that and do well for the team and help them finish as high as possible."

Exclusive by Steve Madeley

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