Premier League • England

Chelsea loanee’s transfer value plummets as recent performance ‘throws club into despair’ amid injury concern

Callum Hudson-Odoi, Saul Niguez and Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea

Romelu Lukaku is facing an extremely uncertain future amid claims his performances are ‘throwing’ Inter Milan into ‘despair’, with the striker also suffering injury woes.

Lukaku left Inter in August 2021 to re-sign for Chelsea, seven years after he had left Stamford Bridge for Everton. The £97.5million transfer fee made him one of the most expensive players in Premier League history, behind only Jack Grealish.

Lukaku started well back at Chelsea, scoring in a 2-0 win over Arsenal during his first Premier League outing of the season. Not long after that, Lukaku bagged a brace in a 3-0 victory against Aston Villa.

However, the 29-year-old struggled to continue that form for the entire campaign. Only eight of his 15 goals came in the league.

Lukaku’s relationship with Thomas Tuchel gradually worsened. And he was dropped for a huge match against Liverpool in January 2022 after conducting an interview where he complained about his Chelsea situation and revealed his desire to go back to Italy.

Tuchel got his way in the summer as Chelsea shipped Lukaku back to Inter on loan. As per Sky Sports, the Serie A side paid Chelsea £10.3m in loan fees and are stumping up all of the player’s wages.

Lukaku will have been hoping to make a big impression at Inter for several reasons. This would have proved Tuchel wrong and ensured Inter want to sign him on a permanent basis.

As Chelsea are now managed by Graham Potter, and already have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kai Havertz in their squad, it is unlikely Lukaku would feature regularly if he went back to west London.

Chelsea man enduring tough time in Serie A

But things are not going well for the Belgian in Italy. Injuries have limited him to seven appearances in all competitions, during which he has only found the back of the net twice.

Lukaku has recently returned from a bicep problem. He managed 64 minutes in a 1-0 win over Napoli, before coming off the bench for 35 minutes against Monza on Saturday.

But Sempre Inter gave him a rating of just 4.5/10. They suggested his performance is one of the worst from an Inter striker in the last 15 years.

And according to Sport Witness, who cite Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, his poor display has ‘thrown’ everyone at Inter into ‘despair’. And to make matters worse, Inter are ‘seriously concerned’ about Lukaku’s fitness.

Inter boss Simone Inzaghi will probably leave Lukaku on the bench during Inter’s next game. They face Parma in the Coppa Italia round of 16 on Tuesday.

But the report states that Inter officials must look towards the summer. This is when they have the option to sign Lukaku permanently.

Unfortunately for Chelsea, the loanee’s dire season back in Serie A will vastly decrease the amount Inter are willing to pay for him.

Chelsea are preparing to take a huge financial hit if they sell him back to Inter. And this might not even happen, leaving Potter with a major dilemma.

At 29, Lukaku still has time to get back to full fitness and turn his career around. But right now, this has got to be considered one of the lowest points in his career.

Meanwhile, Monday’s Euro Paper Talk claims Chelsea are aiming to complete a stunning hijack of a Tottenham signing.