Romelu Lukaku is returning to Italy after a season-long loan agreement between Chelsea and Roma was reached. After returning to the Nerazzurri last season, Lukaku, a £97.5 million signing from Inter for 2021, departs the Blues for a second straight season on loan in Italy. In the Italian capital, Lukaku meets up with former Chelsea and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
After spending last season on loan at Inter Milan, Belgium’s captain and all-time leading scorer will play a key role in Serie A. The Belgian international played for Inter Milan throughout the previous season before joining Chelsea in the summer of 2021.
In the Italian capital, Lukaku will team up with Jose Mourinho, the former Chelsea manager who led Roma to the Europa League final the previous year. Lukaku helped Inter reach the Champions League final, where they were nearly defeated by Manchester City, scoring 14 goals in 37 games for Inter last season in Italy.
Mauricio Pochettino, the new Chelsea manager, did not have the Belgian on his roster upon his return to London, despite Christopher Nkunku, the Blues’ outstanding attacking acquisition, suffering a long-term injury. Lukaku has now been acquired by Jose Mourinho twice; the first time was with Manchester United in 2017.
Mourinho clarified that he understands how to bring out the best in him. He stated: “He rose to the top at Inter. He gained a lot of affection from the crowd, love from his teammates, and excellent relationships with the coach. Despite his size and physical strength, he harbors a child inside who craves affection, encouragement, and a sense of significance. Lukaku will join Roma for the seventh time. Before signing with Chelsea, he started his career as an amateur with Anderlecht.
Before his £90 million transfer to Manchester United, he spent time on loan at West Brom and Everton, with the latter of which turned into a permanent transfer. Despite having a successful debut season, Lukaku lost favor and was transferred to Inter Milan for £74 million ($80 million).
Despite having a career goal total of over 350, including a record 75 for Belgium, Lukaku has struggled with form and health in recent years. He becomes the eighth first team acquisition of the summer and joins Mourinho’s Roma ambition. Prior to bringing in Lukaku, Roma acquired Leandro Paredes from Paris Saint-Germain for €2.5 million (£2.2 million), as well as free agents Evan Ndicka of Frankfurt, Houssem Aouar of Lyon, Rasmus Kristensen of Leeds, Sardar Azmoun of Bayer Leverkusen, and Renato Sanches of Paris Saint-Germain on loan.
Along with former Chelsea teammate Tammy Abraham, Argentine star Paulo Dybala, and perennial Premier League transfer target Andrea Belotti, Lukaku joins a congested attacking line.