Chelsea are ‘crying out’ for a striker like Romelu Lukaku, according to Charlie Austin.
Lukaku, who joined the Blues for £18million from Anderlecht in 2011, played just 15 times for the club before being sold to Everton three years later.
He has since gone on to become one of Europe’s most prolific strikers following successful spells with the Toffees, Manchester United and currently Inter Milan.
Only Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals (29) than Lukaku (23) in Serie A this season as the latter helped Inter win a first Italian top-flight title in 11 years.
And West Brom forward Austin insists Lukaku would be a brilliant signing for Chelsea, who are reportedly in the market for a striker with Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud likely to leave this summer.
He told Wednesday’s talkSPORT Breakfast: “Lukaku fits the mould for what Chelsea are crying out for, doesn’t he?
“He’s gone away, he’s won Serie A, he’s scored goals, after goals, after goals.
“He could be thinking, ‘I’ll come back to England now, I was part of Chelsea at the start, I feel I can come back and have a right good go at it’.
“He’s a top player. He left Man United and it was a mad decision by them to let him go. It was a big loss for Man United.
“He’d be brilliant for the Premier League and Chelsea.”
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has opted to play Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Giroud ahead of Abraham, who has not started a match since being hooked off against Southampton at half-time on February 20.
Reports have claimed the Blues will listen to £40m offers for the England international this summer.
And Austin believes Crystal Palace, who could be managed by Abraham’s former Frank Lampard, would be an ideal fit for the 23-year-old.
He said: “Tammy Abraham would go there and be the main man.
“He’d probably thrive for a team like Palace. There wouldn’t be too much expectation.
“He can go and score double figure goals and that’s tough in the Premier League.
“But the demand is not constantly there like it is at Chelsea. If you don’t perform, you get scrutinised. That’s what’s happening to Timo Werner now.”