During an interview with Sky Sport Italia, Romelu Lukaku opened up about his new life in London. The Belgian moved from Inter after the summer’s Euro 2020 to sign with Chelsea for a record transfer fee of $135 million. He now says he’s not happy with his situation at Stamford Bridge.
Lukaku didn’t hold back from voicing his frustrations and expressing his love for Inter Milan. He said he’d like to re-join the Italian club while he’s still in his prime, accepting that the way he left was not right.
The 28-year-old only returned to training last week after being sidelined with an ankle injury until the end of November, and then forced out by COVID-19 for more than a week before Christmas. Since his return to the pitch on Boxing Day, Lukaku scored twice, helping his team beat Aston Villa 3-1, then netting against Brighton in a 1-1 draw on Wednesday.
#Lukaku chiede scusa ai tifosi: "Amo l’#Inter, tornerò". Domani, venerdì 31 dicembre alle 13.30, alle 17 e alle 19.30 su Sky Sport 24 l'intervista esclusiva al calciatore del Chelsea realizzata da @MatteoBarzaghi #SkySport https://t.co/uIPyZUfiWG
— skysport (@SkySport) December 30, 2021
The unhappy one
The interview for Sky Sport Italia was recorded three weeks ago as Chelsea was playing Lukaku mainly from the bench following his ankle problem.
“After two years in Italy, in which I worked so hard at Inter with fitness coaches and nutritionists, physically I’m well. I am not however happy about the situation, this is normal,” Lukaku said. “The manager has chosen to play with another system, I must only not give up and continue to work and be professional,” the striker added. “I am not happy about the situation, but I am a hard worker and I must not give up.”
Talking about Inter, Lukaku said he’ll “play for Inter again” after falling “in love with Italy.” He also apologized to Inter’s supporters for leaving the club the way he did over the summer.
“I don’t think any of it should have happened the way it did. The way I left Inter and the way I communicated with the Inter fans. I’m annoyed about that because it’s not the right time now, but it wasn’t the right time when I left either,” Lukaku commented. “I want to really apologize to the Inter fans because I don’t think I should have left Inter the way I did. I should have spoken to you guys first, especially after everything you did for me, for my family, my mum, my son. I’ll never forget that,” Lukaku said, insisting on the idea of his return:
Lukaku’s goal rate far from expected
In his two seasons at Inter, Lukaku scored 64 goals. In 2020-21, he netted 24 times in Serie A alone, helping Inter win its first title in 11 years. Despite saying he’s not thinking about leaving the club, Lukaku asked Inter to accept a bid from Chelsea after an initial one was turned down. Chelsea, where Lukaku played as a teenager, confirmed his return on Aug. 12 for a club-record transfer fee of $135 million.
Lukaku scored seven goals for Chelsea in the 18 games he featured in since his return to Stamford Bridge. When the transfer from Inter was confirmed, the bookies believed he would become the main driving force in Chelsea’s title bid. Thomas Tuchel’s side started well, but dropped nine points since the beginning of the month and now trail Premier League leaders Man. City by eight points.
Lukaku is now at +2000 to finish the season as the league’s top scorer. He netted five times in the Premier League since the start of the campaign. With 15 goals scored, Liverpool’s Salah leads the scorers’ rankings, followed by his teammate Diogo Jota with 10 and Leicester’s Jamie Vardy with nine.
Chelsea is the third favorite to lift the Premier League trophy in May. They sit at +1900, with Liverpool at +750 and defending champions City at -1250.