Romelu Lukaku’s future looks uncertain, and his recent statement expressing his wish to play for Juventus has left his club Inter Milan “annoyed” and “deeply disappointed,” according to reports.
Chelsea announced that the Belgian striker would move to Inter for a second stint on a season-long loan deal at the start of the 2022-23 campaign. Lukaku had a decent showing, scoring 14 goals and bagging seven assists in 37 appearances for the Nerazzuri. However, his numbers were shrouded after his Champions League final performance against Manchester City, where he missed several critical chances in his team’s 1-0 defeat.
Just one season back Lukaku made a very public desire to join Inter Milan. One season in, Lukaku wants to move on to greener pastures, away from the Nerazzuri. Still, a Chelsea player, Inter Milan might have tried to re-sign the Belgian from the Blues, but it looks unlikely after his recent statement.
Following is a look at the timeline of Lukaku’s club career.
Lukaku’s club timeline
First professional contract with Anderlecht
Lukaku signed his first professional contract with Belgian club Anderlecht in 2009 at the tender age of 16. Scoring 33 goals in 73 appearances, it was certain that Lukaku was destined for a move to one of the European heavyweights.
2011-12 season- First season with Chelsea
In 2011, Chelsea came calling, and Lukaku signed a five-year contract for a fee reported to be around 10 million pounds, rising to 17 million pounds in add-ons. Lukaku spent most of that season in the reserves.
2012-13 season- Loan at West Brom
Lukaku moved to West Bromwich Albion on a season-long loan and scored 17 goals in 35 appearances. However, his West Brom stint will be remembered for the second-half hat-trick in the season’s final home match against Manchester United, which was Sir Alex Ferguson’s 1,500th and last match in charge of United, and the highest-scoring draw in the history of the Premier League.
2013-14 season- Loan at Everton
At the start of the season, Lukaku joined Everton on a season-long loan, making his debut against West Ham and scoring the winning goal in a 3-2 victory. He bagged 15 goals in 31 appearances and eventually, started attracting the spotlight on him as one of the most promising young strikers in Europe.
2014-2017- Rise to stardom at Goodison Park
After a season-long loan, Lukaku signed a five-year contract with Everton in July 2014 for a then-club record fee of 28 million pounds. It was here that Lukaku became a global name and rose to stardom as he became a crucial player in the Everton forward line.
The Belgian scored 53 goals in 117 appearances for the Toffees, and at the end of the 2016-17 season, Premier League giant Manchester United approached the Merseyside club for buying him.
2017-2019: Average stint with Manchester United
Lukaku joined Manchester United on 10 July 2017, signing a five-year contract for a reported fee of 75 million pounds. He notched a brace in his first professional match, where United won 4-0 against West Ham.
He scored his 100th Premier League goal during his time with the Red Devils, but he never got firing consistently, which led to him being sold to Inter Milan at the start of the 2019-20 season. He scored 28 goals in 66 appearances for the Red Devils.
2019- 2021: Success at Inter Milan
Lukaku joined Italian club Inter Milan on 8 August 2019, signing a five-year contract for a fee reported to be a club-record 80 million euros.
After a first season consisting of 34 goals, Lukaku settled well into the Nerazzuri frontline and went on to win the Serie A title in the 2020-21 season. The Belgian scored 24 goals in the league and helped Inter win its first title since the 2009-10 season.
At the start of the 2021-22 season, Chelsea approached Inter and signed Lukaku for a second time. Lukaku left Inter with 47 goals in 72 appearances.
2021-22: Return to Chelsea
On 12 August 2021, Lukaku returned to his former club Chelsea, a decade after he had originally joined the club, for a reported club-record fee of 97.5 million pounds. He created a lot of hype after his Chelsea return, but things turned sour quickly, and he landed in controversy when he said he was “not happy” with the situation at Chelsea and expressed his wish to return to Inter.
Eventually, his relationship with then-manager Thomas Tuchel further deteriorated, and he was dropped from the squad.
After just one season with the Blues, he joined Inter Milan on a season-long loan.
With the Belgian already in hot waters with his fickle-mindedness, it remains to be seen how his club career pans out as the summer window progresses.
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