Romelu Lukaku has been told he needs to earn the respect of Inter fans again
Romelu Lukaku has been warned he won’t exactly be welcomed with open arms at Inter Milan after his miserable one-season stint in the Premier League with Chelsea.
The Belgium striker is set to agree a loan deal with the San Siro after an below-par campaign in London that saw him hit the net just 14 times in 44 appearances in all competitions following his return to Stamford Bridge in the part of a big deal worth just under £100m ($122m).
Lukaku was something of a folk hero during his first stint with Inter Milan, scoring 64 times in two seasons and edging out Cristiano Ronaldo for the 2021 Serie A most valuable player award.
But many Inter fans remain unhappy that he chose to turn his back on his Milan fans in pursuit of Premier League glory – with sections of the club’s vast fan base now warning the player of 29 years that his imminent return to the club will not come. without a hint of acrimony.
In a statement released ahead of Lukaku’s return, band Curva Nord ultra said they noted his “betrayal” and said they will have to produce on the pitch if they are to regain their good graces.
“We took note of Lukaku’s betrayal and were very upset“, said the group of fans.
“No one should come and greet him with scarves or banners. He was supported (and treated) like a king, now he is like many. Anything that may be done to him in the future will have to be earned on the pitch with humility and sweat.
“It’s also clear to everyone that we will never cheer for Lukaku if he wears the Inter shirt again.
“However, we urge all Inter fans not to fall into the opposite trap of running straight away and drooling after him.
“We are not gentlemen at the mercy of the movements of players and clubs. For a player, these things can be forgiven over time, but they remain. Now long ball and Romelu pedal.”
Lukaku is set to complete the loan move in the coming days in what will be among new owner Todd Boehly’s first big acts in charge (at least as far as playing staff are concerned) after taking over from Roman Abramovich in charge of the Giants. of the Premier League. .
The Belgian was a controversial figure on his return to Chelsea, who he first signed for as a teenager before making a name for himself at West Brom, Everton and eventually Inter Milan.
He started strong in Thomas Tuchel’s side but the goals quickly dried up and he expressed his displeasure at Stamford Bridge in an interview he gave to Italian media in December in which he declared his interest in a return. in Italy.
Lukaku’s ineffectiveness at Chelsea was perhaps best summed up by his performance in February against Crystal Palace in which he only touched the ball seven times throughout the game.
As for Chelsea, as soon as Lukaku’s wages are waived they will position themselves in the transfer market for a proven goalscorer as they look to close the gap between them and Premier League leaders Manchester City and Liverpool.
Tuchel’s side have been heavily linked with a move for Man City and England winger Raheem Sterling as well as Bayern Munich marksman Robert Lewandowski.
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