Romelu Lukaku played a key role in convincing two players to follow him out of the exit door at Manchester United, according to a report.
Lukaku bid farewell to the Premier League when he left United for Inter Milan in summer 2019. The Belgian striker had previously spent eight years of his career in the English top flight – two with United.
Lukaku scored 42 goals in 96 games for United, but still divided opinion among their supporters. It appears club officials had their own doubts, too, leading them to accept an offer from Inter.
The 27-year-old went on to score 34 goals in his first season in Serie A. That was more than any player managed for United in the same season.
Lukaku was not the only player to leave Old Trafford behind for San Siro last season. Alexis Sanchez followed him to Inter on a loan deal which has since become permanent. Then, Ashley Young also made the same move in January 2020.
Now, a report from Italian paper La Repubblica has revealed how big a role Lukaku played in tempting his teammates away from United.
According to the report (via The Mirror), Lukaku told Young and Sanchez they should leave United for Inter because there were “no clans” at the latter.
Lukaku had grown disillusioned with divisions in the United dressing room – with some members of the squad reportedly angry at Sanchez for having higher wages.
Conversely, Lukaku found a more unified squad at Inter, and when his former teammates asked him what life was like at the club, he gave them glowing recommendations.
Lukaku ‘expected’ Greenwood, Martial, Rashford success
While La Repubblica‘s report suggests Lukaku was unhappy with life at Old Trafford, he has previously spoken words of support for his former employers.
Back in August, after Inter had reached the Europa League final but United had not, Lukaku said he was not suprised by the way Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have done well in attack since his exit.
“I think Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) did a really good job,” he said. “The players, they did really well.
“Greenwood coming through, Martial and Rashford – I expected all of that. I’m really happy for them.
“They look really good for next season, I have no doubt.”