Romelu Lukaku arrived at Chelsea heralding his transfer as a dream come true, however lower than a yr later the Belgian striker is about to rejoin Inter Milan as one of the crucial costly flops within the Premier League historical past.
Lukaku was hailed as the ultimate piece of Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea jigsaw when he was signed from Inter Milan for a club-record £97.5 million ($119 million) final August.
However every part that might go incorrect did go incorrect for the 29-year-old in his disastrous second spell with the Blues.
Lukaku’s inventory has fallen to this point that Tuchel has reduce ties with the previous Manchester United and Everton participant after just one season.
Inter are anticipated to substantiate his return to the San Siro shortly, having negotiated a reported eight-million-euro ($8.4 million) mortgage charge for Lukaku.
Lukaku is believed to have taken a pay reduce such is his want to depart Stamford Bridge in any respect prices.
He ended the season as Chelsea’s prime scorer with 15 targets in 44 appearances, however that statistic doesn’t inform the complete story of his wretched time in west London.
Lukaku struck solely eight instances within the Premier League and Chelsea’s new co-owner Todd Boehly was fast to rubber-stamp his impending exit.
He joins Fernando Torres, Andriy Shevchenko, Alvaro Morata and Chris Sutton as the most recent high-profile ahead who did not justify a hefty price ticket at Chelsea.
After firing Inter to the Serie A title in 2021, Lukaku’s mixture of energy and predatory ending ought to have been the important thing to a dominant interval for Chelsea, who received the Champions League simply months earlier than his signing.
Lukaku billed the transfer, on a profitable five-year contract, as an emotional homecoming after beforehand taking part in for the membership he supported as a boy from 2011 to 2014.
“I’m completely happy and blessed to be again at this glorious membership. To attempt to assist them win extra titles is an incredible feeling,” Lukaku mentioned on the time.
Lukaku’s early enthusiasm fuelled 4 targets in his first 4 appearances, bullying the Arsenal defence in a show of the ability that might overwhelm any opponent if he was within the temper.
Nonetheless, Lukaku’s perspective shortly turned bitter as a run of six matches and not using a purpose raised considerations about his skill to adapt to Tuchel’s system.
Hampered by an ankle harm and a bout of the coronavirus, Lukaku misplaced his place to Kai Havertz.
Lukaku was sad with the best way Tuchel was utilizing him, a sense his former Inter boss Antonio Conte gave voice to when he mentioned the German didn’t “perceive” how finest to utilise the striker.
Whereas Tuchel should take a share of the blame, Lukaku destroyed his hopes of turning the tide with an incendiary interview in December.
“Bodily I’m nice. However I’m not proud of the scenario at Chelsea. Tuchel has chosen to play with one other system,” Lukaku informed an Italian tv channel.
“I actually, genuinely from the underside of my coronary heart hope to come back again to Inter.”
Tuchel was understandably livid and dropped Lukaku for Liverpool’s go to to the Bridge simply days after the interview was aired.
Lukaku was pressured to apologise to Chelsea and the membership’s followers.
When he finally bought again within the aspect, his physique language was dreadful as he moped by means of matches and argued with team-mate Hakim Ziyech throughout a sport towards Brighton.
Lukaku’s wretched season reached breaking level at Crystal Palace in February when he broke the document for the bottom variety of touches (seven) by an outfield participant in a Premier League match.
“It’s not concerning the system. For him, it adjustments nothing. The info is on the market and the info speaks a sure language,” Tuchel mentioned in a damning indictment.
After 4 months and not using a Premier League purpose, Lukaku scored three in two video games in direction of the top of the season, incomes a spot within the FA Cup last staff towards Liverpool.
But Lukaku’s limp show as Chelsea misplaced on penalties at Wembley was a becoming epitaph to his turbulent yr.