Antonio Conte was desperate to land Romelu Lukaku during his time in the Chelsea dugout but the Belgian hitman opted for Manchester United in the summer of 2017. The then-Everton striker could not turn down the advances of Jose Mourinho, but Conte finally got his man two years later.
Upon his arrival at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, the former Chelsea and Juventus title-winning coach handed director Beppe Marotta a list of targets and Lukaku was at the top of it. On this occasion, Belgium’s all-time top scorer had no hesitation and made the move to Inter after two difficult campaigns at Old Trafford.
A criticism often levelled at Lukaku is his inability to affect the big matches, but he has dispelled this notion emphatically since moving to the Nerazzurri. Lukaku is Inter’s captain without the armband and has always delivered when his teammates have needed a goal or big moment.
Conte also deserves credit for improving the 27-year-old’s all-round game and the ex-Toffee fans’ favourite is set for another 30-plus haul. Lukaku’s exploits have not gone unnoticed, and Manchester City have been linked to a whopping €103m transfer. Pep Guardiola is on the hunt for a long-term successor to Sergio Aguero but the Antwerp native speaks very fondly of his current boss and is unlikely to push for a return to England.
Over the next six months, the challenge for Inter and Lukaku is to finally clinch some silverware. The goal machine has more than 300 career club efforts to his name but aside from a league medal with Anderlecht at the age of 16, he has yet to taste any further success. Juventus remain favourites for the Scudetto but have struggled for consistency, and few would bet against Lukaku to drive Inter on to domestic glory.