‘I was in a deep hole at Man Utd’ - Romelu Lukaku admits he would have only left Inter Milan for Chelsea
The Belgian international marked his return to English football with a goal when he made his second debut for Chelsea during the Blues’ visit to London rivals Arsenal. The forward scored 42 goals in a two-year spell at Manchester United, and has recently spoken out about his Inter Milan exit after Old Trafford struggles.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea interacts with the crowd ahead of the Premier League match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield on August 28, 2021 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Romelu Lukaku has admitted that he wanted to avoid a repeat of his time at Manchester United, where he felt "in a hole" after being left out in the cold by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
He recently returned to London and to Chelsea in a deal worth £97.5 million, six years after he left for Merseyside on a permanent deal.
The 28-year-old's form dipped towards the end of his first spell in England, but he quickly rediscovered the old Lukaku in Italy, where he notched 64 goals in 94 appearances for Inter Milan, helping the club to their first Serie A title in 11 years under Antonio Conte.
MILAN, ITALY - MAY 23: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Romelu Lukaku of FC Internazionale celebrates during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and Udinese Calcio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on May 23, 2021 in Milan, Italy. Sporting stadiums around Italy
Image credit: Eurosport
Speaking to HLN, Lukaku admitted he would only have considered leaving Milan for Chelsea.
Kids love Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United. And Chelsea for me, everyone knows what Chelsea means to me.
"If they ask me, why would I say no? I only realised that Chelsea was serious at the third offer. It went to €110m, and I knew, this is truly serious."
His time at Manchester United turned sour, and the Belgian confessed his struggles.
I was in a deep hole at Man United. I didn't want to go behind Inter's back.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United in action with Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea FC at Old Trafford on April 28, 2019 in Manchester, Un
Image credit: Eurosport
"So after training I went to [Simone] Inzaghi's office. I didn't want to ruin the atmosphere because I was no longer with my head in Milan. So I asked him to find an agreement."
They did, and Lukaku’s return to Chelsea, where he previously spent four years in and out on loan, has formed a mouthwatering front line with the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Mason Mount that has been tipped to bring the Premier League title back to Stamford Bridge.
Thomas Tuchel has done an exceptional job since his arrival in England in January, replacing outgoing boss Frank Lampard, and the Blues’ new number nine has been full of praise for the German.
"The first two training sessions, that intensity was so high that the first two or three days I had a bit of a scare," he said.
"But two days before the match we had a training session where I scored two goals and I thought yes.
The team is looking good, the coach is looking good, I love the system that we play because it's the same system as here [with Belgium], only the emphasis is different. For me it's fantastic because I play in a team that dominates.
Lukaku, currently on international break, has continued his fine form since his summer move by bagging a brace in Belgium’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Estonia on Thursday.
He’s expected to be back amongst the action on Sunday night, when the Red Devils take on Czech Republic.