Everything has been spinning around Romelu Lukaku from the very moment he decided to leave Manchester United for Inter Milan in 2019.
With the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic edging closer to hanging up their boots, a never-ending debate about ‘who is the best forward in the world’ has started to get a new shape. Though there is a lot of top-class frontmen running for this coveted recognition, not many of them can boast such intimidating figures as Inter Milan standout performer Romelu Lukaku.
Lukaku was a nuisance to opposition defenses back in his time at Everton, which earned him a blockbuster £75million move to Manchester United in the summer of 2017. Although his career at Old Trafford was rather torrid, the 27-year-old striker has hit the ground running since swapping United for the Italian powerhouse Inter in 2019. Indeed, he has found his footing at the Giuseppe Meazza, re-establishing himself as one of the most lethal marksmen in Europe’s top-five leagues.
Across his year-and-a-half spell in Lombardy, Lukaku has tallied a mouth-watering 49 goals and eight assists in 69 appearances in all competitions. This season alone, the all-time Belgium top-scorer has found the net 11 times in 13 Serie A outings, helping his side keep the pace with high-flying AC Milan at the summit. It’s enough to say that the Nerazzurri have failed to win two of their three league fixtures without their towering forward in the starting XI (D2).
Antonio Conte has already stressed out how crucial Lukaku has been for Inter’s set-up this season, insisting his target man is right up there in the royal society. Moreover, a series of jaw-dropping performances have brought the highly-rated goal-machine back under the spotlight, earning him massive plaudits from all over the footballing world. Lukaku himself has now taken those acclamations to the next level, putting himself in a distinguished group of the five best world strikers at the moment.
⚽️🔥 Only THREE players have scored 10+ league goals in ALL of the last 9 seasons*…— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) December 23, 2020
🇧🇪 Romelu Lukaku
🇵🇹 Cristiano Ronaldo
🇵🇱 Robert Lewandowski
* (top 5 leagues) pic.twitter.com/4rwNS4Rr06
“In the past five months, yes,” Lukaku replied when asked if he belongs to a group of the world’s top-five strikers [via Sport]. “I don’t want to rank that top from one to five, but I’m part of it right now.”
It’s a near-certainty that Conte has played a prominent role in Lukaku’s resurrection. However, the Belgian star has singled out current Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho as a coach who modeled him into the player he is today.
“Mourinho taught me to work better with the collective, both in terms of pressing and to position better on the field. Just look at what he’s doing with Harry Kane now.”
A formidable partnership with Lautaro Martinez has got the most out of Lukaku’s vast potential, and the latter has not missed the chance to hail his attacking companion.
“Before I arrived here, I watched some Inter matches and sometimes saw Lautaro lonely in the front. I immediately felt it could click if they put us on the pitch together. Sometimes it’s his day, others it’s mine. If you accept that, everything will be fine.”