“I’ve supported Chelsea as a child and now to be again and check out to lend a hand them win extra titles is an awesome feeling.”
Not up to three hundred and sixty five days later the Belgium striker is leaving the membership in arguably one of the crucial pricey switch errors in Premier League historical past.
Lukaku’s go back to Chelsea on a five-year deal value the Blues a club-record £97.5m, however he departs 10 months afterward an preliminary mortgage deal having didn’t make the affect each he and the membership would have was hoping for.
His signing used to be meant to show Chelsea into Premier League identify contenders so how, and why, did all of it move so flawed?
A transfer that by no means will have to have took place?
When Chelsea introduced the re-signing of Lukaku it gave the impression they’d secured the general piece of the jigsaw.
The 29-year-old had simply loved a stellar season at Inter, scoring 24 league targets and offering 11 assists because the Italian facet ended a decade of Juventus dominance to win the Serie A identify.
Lukaku additionally had unfinished trade at Chelsea. He first joined them as a youngster from Anderlecht in 2011, however left 3 years later after failing to attain.
“I am glad and blessed to be again at this glorious membership,” Lukaku stated on the time of his go back to Stamford Bridge.
“It is been an extended adventure for me. I got here right here as a child who had so much to be informed, now I am coming again with a large number of revel in and extra mature.”
The inducement and the pedigree used to be there, whilst Chelsea desperately wanted a striker. It used to be a transfer that made best possible sense.
He may now not have was hoping for a greater moment debut as he scored in a 2-0 win at Arsenal on 22 August, nevertheless it didn’t take lengthy for issues to get to the bottom of.
After netting two times in a 3-0 win in opposition to Aston Villa on 11 September, Lukaku didn’t rating every other Premier League objective till 26 December.
“He used to be noticed as the general piece within the jigsaw,” Chelsea fan and cfcuk fanzine author Tim Rolls instructed BBC Game.
“Other folks have been excited. We had speedy broad gamers and he used to be the piece that might entire the jigsaw. He used to be anticipated to make us contenders.
“To begin with he appeared the trade, however for no matter reason why it tailed off in no time.”
Accidents and a bout of coronavirus didn’t lend a hand, however at the pitch he confirmed little of the energy, hold-up play and completing skill that helped him rating 47 targets in two seasons at Inter.
In spite of Lukaku’s phrases on his go back, the striker every now and then gave the impression unmotivated.
An interview with Sky Italia in December perceived to ascertain that view as he stated he used to be “now not glad” together with his function on the Blues.
“It [the return to Inter] has been Lukaku-driven. He made it very transparent in that interview he gave,” Italian soccer professional James Horncastle instructed BBC Radio 5 Are living.
“I believe the subtext of that used to be that leaving Inter wasn’t his choice. It used to be on account of the monetary stresses and lines that the membership used to be below at the moment.
“The cases of his departure performed on his thoughts so much and left him puzzled.”
The glove that simply didn’t are compatible
In that Sky Italia interview, Lukaku made it transparent that a lot of his sadness at Chelsea stemmed from how he used to be utilised by means of supervisor Thomas Tuchel.
The German trainer abruptly rejected the declare that his machine didn’t play to Lukaku’s strengths, but nonetheless he struggled to make an affect when he did play.
When Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in February, Lukaku controlled simply seven touches of the ball – the fewest for a participant that includes within the complete 90 mins of a Premier League fit.
“It is not concerning the machine,” Tuchel stated afterwards.
“There is not any trade of machine as a result of it is the similar attacking construction. We all the time assault in a 4-1, it is only for the build-up infrequently we’re in a 3-2, infrequently in a 4-1. For him, it adjustments not anything.”
In spite of his struggles Lukaku completed closing season as Chelsea’s best scorer with 15 targets in all competitions, however given the numerous rate paid to signal him, Tuchel and Chelsea enthusiasts anticipated him to give a contribution extra.
“As a result of he value such a lot he must be considered one of Chelsea’s worst signings,” added Rolls.
“Once we purchased Diego Costa he made a direct affect at the group. He used to be a pacesetter, however Lukaku used to be virtually the other.
“The opposite ahead gamers have been possibly on the lookout for him to steer and he did not. We have been left rudderless.”
Lukaku had additionally been connected with Manchester Town closing summer season and Micah Richards believes that might had been the easier transfer for him.
“I believe if Lukaku used to be in Manchester Town’s group he would rating targets,” the previous Town defender stated on The Monday Night time Membership closing month.
“I believe that is the distinction – it is the machine.”
Will Inter go back reignite Lukaku?
Inter have been not able to shield their identify closing season and completed moment to competitors AC Milan, even though scoring used to be now not an issue for Simone Inzaghi’s facet, with out a group scoring greater than Inter’s 84 league targets.
However the Italian facet will view the go back of a participant that scored 34 and 30 targets in his two earlier seasons on the membership because the transfer that can give them the brink over their competitors within the coming marketing campaign.
Lukaku turns 30 subsequent yr so time is now not on his facet, however a cheerful Lukaku is a scoring Lukaku and it’s transparent this shall be a transfer that fits all events.
“There have been work of art of Lukaku when he used to be closing at Inter,” Horncastle added. “He used to be voted the most efficient participant in Serie A in a yr when [Cristiano] Ronaldo used to be the highest scorer – that is how just right he used to be.
“It is transparent that he felt he performed his perfect soccer at Inter, that they understood him, that he understood them.
“He will have to by no means have left.”