Former Tottenham and England striker Peter Crouch has heaped praise on Chelsea star Romelu Lukaku.
Lukaku returned to the Blues last month after a seven-year hiatus, signing for a club-record £97.5million from Italian giants Inter Milan.
The Belgian international has enjoyed a prolific start to life in west London, notching four goals in as many games, including the winner against Zenit Saint Petersburg during Tuesday night’s UEFA Champions League group stage fixture.
Now, Crouch has claimed that the 28-year-old is amongst the best of the best, comparing him to footballing icon Cristiano Ronaldo, who recently re-joined Manchester United, who he left in 2009.
“[Lukaku has] got himself in the conversation in the world’s best now”, Crouch told BT Sport.
“With Lewandowski, Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic, who we won’t see tonight, but top, top players and he’s worked to get where he has and deserves all the success he’s got.”
Crouch continued, “Since he’s gone in there [Chelsea], he’s changed the dynamic, they’ve become difficult to beat. They look organised, with Lukaku they’ve got a world-class forward, a tremendous header. Picked up where they left off this season.”
However, Lukaku himself admitted that he doesn’t want to be uttered in the same breath as Ronaldo, who he argues is one of the best three players to ever play the sport.
Speaking in a press conference last week, the former Manchester United striker said: “Don’t ever compare me to Cristiano Ronaldo, never.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is, for me, in the top three best players in the history of football. I’m not going to rank him from first to third but he’s in there.
“What he has achieved in football today for players of my generation is something exceptional.”
The two will battle it out on November 27 when Ronaldo’s Manchester United travel to Stamford Bridge in a mouth-watering clash that could be crucial in the Premier League title race.