Romelu Lukaku has claimed he is “coming home” by returning to Inter Milan from Chelsea, where Thomas Tuchel may not have helped his case for comfort.
Lukaku joined Chelsea for a second spell last summer as a club-record signing from Inter. However, he could not translate his form from Serie A back to the Premier League. In total, he scored eight goals in the English top-flight from 26 games.
The striker did not end the season as Tuchel’s preferred option, though. Around halfway through the season, he began pining for a return to Inter.
His wish has now come to fruition, in the shape of a loan deal for the upcoming season. After scoring 64 goals in 95 games for the club before, Lukaku will be hoping to hit the ground running again.
He is joining a side that finished second in Serie A without him last season. But upon his return, he set out his ambitions – and how happy he is to be somewhere he is more comfortable.
He told Inter TV: “It’s like coming home. My family and I were so happy here thanks to the people, the fans and my team-mates. From the first day I arrived here, everyone helped me settle in.
“I’m very happy. I kept my home here when I went to England, so that means something. I’m pleased to be back and now I can’t wait to get out there with my team-mates.
“It’s an amazing feeling. What we achieved here a year ago was fantastic. That goes for the team, the fans and also me personally.
“Inter have given me so much and I hope to do even better than last time. It’s now time to work hard as a squad and hopefully do even better than before.
“The team played really well last season, on another level. It’s a shame they didn’t win the title but they won two important trophies. Lots of players improved loads. We need to keep it up.
“It’s up to us to make it tough for our rivals. We need to prepare well for the new season because we want to keep doing what we’ve been doing.”
Claim emerges over Tuchel comment that angered Lukaku
Meanwhile, new details are emerging about how Lukaku felt less happy at Chelsea.
His relationship with head coach Tuchel never seemed the strongest. In contrast, Lukaku was happier working under current Tottenham boss Antonio Conte at Inter.
Chelsea sacking Petr Cech and Marina over Romelu Lukaku
Chelsea are parting ways with Marina and Petr Cech after they wanted Romelu Lukaku to stay at Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel wanted him gone
According to Goal‘s Chelsea correspondent Nizaar Kinsella, speaking on the Italian Football Podcast, an ill-informed joke by Tuchel to Lukaku led to their tensions.
When watching a Tottenham game, Tuchel is alleged to have said to Lukaku, “There’s your daddy” when Conte was on screen.
The quip did not sit well with Lukaku, who has now left Tuchel behind to sign for Simone Inzaghi’s Inter.
Striker always under the spotlight but can succeed again
Lukaku has now left the Premier League again, without being able to prove any doubters from his Manchester United days wrong.
Having scored 42 goals in 96 games for United, his spell there is sometimes harshly judged, even if it didn’t all go to plan. As such, there was much focus on him when coming back to English football.
Scoring 15 goals from 44 games in all competitions for Chelsea last season was underwhelming. But now, he can leave that behind him by settling at Inter again.
He hit the 30-goal mark – at least – in each of his two seasons with the club after leaving United. Inter will make him their main man up front again, even under a different coach.
There is every reason to believe that Lukaku (who averages almost a goal every other game across his club career) can revive his fortunes back in Serie A.