Once tearing up the Premier League with West Bromwich Albion and then Everton, Romelu Lukaku was one of the best forwards in the league up until his move to Manchester United. His physicality alongside his pace, clinical finishing and natural athleticism combined to create an almost unstoppable force of nature.
All that was needed to propel all of that ability to the very top was a big move to a big club, and things don’t get much bigger than Manchester United.
Romelu Lukaku: Rising From the Ashes of Manchester United Failure to Star for Inter Milan
Manchester United Failure
The Belgian looked to be the signing of the season; it looked as though he was destined to follow in the footsteps of previously great signings like Robin Van Persie.
And, in fairness to Lukaku, he was on track to do that after a successful first season. United finished a solid second while Lukaku netted a respectable 16 goals.
Next season, however, Lukaku was replicating the likes of Ángel Di Maria instead of Van Persie. The former Chelsea man scored just 12 goals in the Premier League; United slumped to a 6th place finish.
It was the most damaging season of Lukaku’s so far impressive career; all the confidence Lukaku had gained from bouncing back from Chelsea rejection at both West Brom and Everton had been completely drained out at Old Trafford.
From the athletic goalscorer seen on Merseyside, Lukaku had transitioned into an immobile, slow forward. Although, some of this can be put down to his malfunctioning digestive system that was later brought to light and fixed by Inter Milan.
Conte And Inter Milan: Career Lifeline’s For Lukaku After United Failure
It was clear the Belgian needed a fresh start; he needed to get away from the often brutal English press and the pressures of playing at Old Trafford. And that’s where Antonio Conte and Inter Milan came in to play the role of career resuscitators.
An escape from Manchester to Milan instantly proved it’s worth to Lukaku, too. The Inter Milan doctor helped to fix Lukaku’s malfunctioning digestive system, therefore helping him return to his ideal weight.
The weight loss proved pivotal; instantly Lukaku looked an athletic powerhouse again, and with this, the goals followed.
The former Manchester United forward has scored a career-high 29 goals this season after recording a career-low of 15 just last season. The turnaround at Inter Milan has been nothing short of extraordinary.
Antonio Conte’s tactical know-how and pure passion has transferred into the Inter Milan players that take to the pitch of the San Siro. The former Juventus manager has awoken a sleeping giant in the form of Inter Milan; he has taken them from fourth to challenging for the title in the space of one season.
Lukaku Not the First to Hit Best Form Under Conte
It’s not the first time the Italian has orchestrated a turnaround like this, either. At Chelsea, Conte took over a side that had just collapsed into a 10th place finish. Just a year later, however, and Conte was lifting the league title aloft having transformed Chelsea with the help of his famous 3-4-3 formation.
Conte, in that time, took Eden Hazard from one of his worst seasons with a meagre six goals and eight assists to one of his best with 17 goals and seven assists. Hazard’s sudden improvement under the Italian is almost an exact replication of what Lukaku has done this season.
This season has been one of resurgence for both Inter Milan and Romelu Lukaku. Although the Italian giants are unlikely to finish up champions, expect this side to get better and better under the guidance of Antonio Conte.