Romelu Lukaku Profile
|Born||May 13, 1993|
Belgian and Inter Milan star Romelu Lukaku is one of Europe's leading strikers. Planet Sport takes a look at his career so far.
Before joining Inter Milan the well-travelled Lukaku also played for Anderlecht, Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion, Everton and Manchester United.
Lukaku reportedly earned the nickname 'Rocky' while at Manchester United due to his commitment in training. He is a powerful striker and among the most prolific goalscorers in world soccer, however, he regularly receives criticism for his first touch.
Old Trafford troubles
Lukaku joined Manchester United from Everton for a reported £75million plus £15million in add-ons in July 2017. Reportedly Lukaku's former club, Chelsea, made a bid for the striker, but he chose Old Trafford over a return to Stamford Bridge.
Lukaku's move to United came despite being managed by Jose Mourinho, who had allowed the striker to leave Chelsea for Everton during his second stint at Stamford Bridge.
In his first season at Manchester United, Lukaku scored 27 goals in 51 games in all competitions. This included 16 goals in 34 Premier League matches during a season which saw the Red Devils finish second to Manchester City.
After a poor start to 2018/19, Mourinho was sacked in December and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer became the new Manchester United manager. Lukaku did not flourish under Solskjaer and was sold to Inter Milan at the end of the season.
Lukaku revealed in an interview with Arsenal legend Ian Wright that he had lost the energy to play for Manchester United and realised he needed to move on to revive his career.
Premier League journeys
Lukaku joined Chelsea from Anderlecht in August 2011. The Blues were his boyhood club and he played alongside his hero Didier Drogba.
However, the young Lukaku did not enjoy a prolific first season at Stamford Bridge. He made only 12 appearances in all competitions and failed to score a competitive goal.
In 2012/13, Lukaku was sent on loan to West Bromwich Albion. He enjoyed a breakthrough season with the Baggies as he scored 17 goals in 35 Premier League appearances, including a hat-trick against Manchester United in Sir Alex Ferguson's final game in charge of the Red Devils - which ended in a 5-5 draw.
Lukaku was handed a chance by the newly reappointed Chelsea manager Mourinho at the start of the 2013/14 season, but the young striker failed to convert a crucial penalty for the Blues in their penalty shootout defeat to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Super Cup. Lukaku was subsequently sent out on loan to Everton.
The loan spell with the Toffees was another success as Lukaku scored 15 goals in 31 Premier League matches.
He joined Everton permanently for a club record £28million in 2014, as Chelsea signed Diego Costa ahead of the new season rather than recall Lukaku.
He was a success at Goodison Park, scoring a total of 87 goals in 166 games and he was also named in the 2016/17 PFA Team of the Year.
Move to Milan
Lukaku joined Inter Milan in August 2019 for €80million, breaking the club's transfer record. Lukaku struck up a solid partnership with Lautaro Martinez during the 2019/20 season as Inter challenged for the Serie A title.
Ultimately, Antonio Conte's Inter were unable to topple Juventus, finishing second. Inter also lost the UEFA Europa League final 3-2 to Sevilla. Lukaku had an impact at both ends of the pitch scoring a penalty but also suffering the misfortune of netting an own goal which sealed victory for Sevilla.
Lukaku ended the season with 34 goals in 51 games in all competitions.
Lukaku broke into the Belgian national team during their golden era, playing alongside the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Vincent Kompany and Thibaut Courtois, in a team which has consistently led the FIFA World Rankings.
Since making his senior debut in 2010, Lukaku has collected 89 caps and scored 57 goals.
He represented Belgium in the 2014 World Cup, where they reached the quarter-finals, and 2018 tournament in Russia, where they finished third.
At the 2018 World Cup, Lukaku was joint-second on the top scorers' chart, finishing with four goals - two behind Golden Boot winner Harry Kane.
Belgium were eliminated from the 2018/19 UEFA Nations League finishing behind Switzerland in Group A2. However, in the next edition of the tournament, they qualified for the finals largely thanks to Lukaku's good form.
Lukaku has scored an impressive nine goals in seven Nations League matches since the competition's inception.
Lukaku is a teetotal Roman Catholic who can speak English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German and a Congolese Swahili dialect.
The striker has spoken of the racism he suffered as a child coming through the Belgian football ranks.
Lukaku's father, Roger, played for the Zaire [Democratic Republic of the Congo] national team. His brother, Jordan Lukaku, who made his name as a left-back for Lazio, is currently on loan at Belgian club Antwerp.
Lukaku reportedly earns €7.5m per year from his Inter Milan salary and is the joint-highest paid player at the Nerazzurri. In 2018, he signed a record sponsorship deal with Puma and he's the first Premier League player to join Jay-Z's management agency Roc Nation.