When Romelu Lukaku and Cristiano Ronaldo made their long-awaited returns to the EPL last season, you could have gotten excellent odds on them fighting tooth and nail for the Premier League’s coveted Golden Boot.
However, while Ronaldo performed admirably in a struggling side and managed to score 24 goals in 38 appearances in all competitions, Lukaku’s return of 15 goals in 44 games was considerably less impressive and indicative of a man who failed to cope with the physicality and pace of the English game.
Incredibly, Lukaku has since returned to Inter Milan on a season-long loan, and many are tipping him to rediscover his form and once again dominate the Serie A scoring charts.
In fact, you can access the 1xBit bonus code and welcome offer before backing Lukaku to top the scoring charts in Italy. But how likely is this, and will the Belgian eventually return to England?
The Deal in Numbers – What do we Know?
Lukaku’s supposed “dream” move back to Chelsea cost the Blues a staggering €113 million last summer, and there’s no doubt that the move failed to deliver a return on the club’s investment.
Despite this, it has come as something of a surprise that Inter have paid just €8 million to re-sign the Belgian striker on loan, even accounting for the associated add-ons that are included in the deal.
This is thought to be a ‘dry’ loan deal with no option to buy for the Nerazzurri, meaning that Lukaku could well return to Chelsea in the summer of 2023.
This is not certain given how unhappy Lukaku appeared for much of his time in London, but even if he does only stay at Inter for a season, they will have cashed in more than €100 million profit to part ways with the striker for just a single season.
The 29-year-old’s contract at Chelsea runs until 2026, and for now it seems likely that they’ll want to secure some return on their investment (either in the form of goals or a significant transfer fee in the future).
Will Lukaku Thrive Back in Italy?
Despite the positive nature of the deal from a financial perspective, it should be noted that Lukaku is returning to a much different Inter than the club he left.
Not only has Antonio Conte departed, for example, but new coach Simone Inzaghi has implemented a completely different playing philosophy and set of tactics (despite largely continuing to play with three at the back).
What’s more, Inter are no longer Serie A champions, having lost their title to city rivals AC Milan and finished last season in second without Lukaku’s firepower.
Lukaku may also be described as a changed man, with his lack of goals and confidence palpable by the end of the 2021/22 season. In one match at Crystal Palace, Lukaku struck such an isolated figure that he only managed seven touches of the ball, failing to track back or make any penetrating runs in behind in the process.
His ineffectiveness and conflict with the Chelsea hierarchy may well have negatively impacted his mindset, as could the ongoing uncertainty about his future and chances of returning to Chelsea in the future.
So, although we’d back him to score more frequently in Serie A and find it easier to utilise his pace and power at Inter, it’s unclear whether he can hit the same heights as he did before leaving for Stamford Bridge.