Mauricio Pochettino and Chelsea have successfully gotten rid of Romelu Lukaku, as the Belgian striker has joined Italian side Roma on a season-long loan.
Immediately after his arrival at Stamford Bridge, Pochettino decided Lukaku was not in his plans. This saw the 30-year-old drop down to Chelsea U21 training while the club engaged in talks to either sell him or loan him out.
There were rumours of a potential player-plus-cash deal involving Juventus, but they ultimately came to nothing. Instead, Lukaku has joined Roma, where he will reunite with former Chelsea and Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho.
After spending a huge £97.5million on Lukaku in August 2021, Chelsea have allowed him to link up with Roma for just £5m.
Following confirmation of his transfer to Roma, Lukaku said: “The welcome I’ve received from this club and its fans has excited me and given me even more motivation to give my all for my new team. As an opponent, I felt the atmosphere of the Stadio Olimpico, and felt the warmth of the Romanisti,” said Lukaku for the first time as a Roma player.
“It’s nice to know I’m a part of it today. I recently got the opportunity to speak with the owners, and I was impressed by their ambition. Now we must work, be humble, and grow game by game. For my part, I can’t wait to be available to my teammates both on and off the pitch.”
Roma chief Tiago Pinto added: “Knowing that Lukaku has chosen Roma can only bring us great satisfaction. With his arrival, we gain more experience, professionalism, and a drive to win.
“All our decisions are focused on increasing the squad’s competitiveness, and we continually assess their performances on the pitch. However, it makes us very proud to watch the fans greet Romelu with such excitement.”
Lukaku, who will wear the number 90 shirt at the Stadio Olimpico, has now left Chelsea for two seasons running. He spent last term on loan at Inter, where he managed 14 goals and seven assists in 37 games.