Romelu Lukaku is ranked 50th in 90min’s European Player of the Year series.
Inter striker Romelu Lukaku has made an impressive start to life in Italy, following his summer move from Manchester United.
The Belgian joined the Red Devils back in the summer of 2017 and went on to play 96 times for them, netting on 42 occasions.
However, after months of speculation, he secured his ‘dream’ move to I Nerazzurri in a transfer thought to be worth around €80m. Lukaku has found the net ten times in Serie A this season from 15 games, leaving him second in the goalscoring charts behind Lazio’s Ciro Immobile.
He certainly has his critics, but Lukaku is a proven goalscorer and is once again showing that in Italy. So, with 2019 drawing to a close, let’s walk you through six of the forward’s best moments from the year…
Two Assists vs Arsenal in FA Cup – 25/1/19
Manchester United overcame Arsenal at the Emirates 3-1 back in January, with Alexis Sanchez scoring on his return to the club. The win also meant then-interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had won his first eight matches in temporary charge of the club.
At the heart of this stellar display in north London was Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian recently revealed he knew his time was up in Manchester when Solskjaer opted to play him on the wing, claiming: “Once I learned that [Ole Gunnar] Solskjaer planned to put me on the wing, then I knew my time at Manchester United was over.”
However, such is the player’s desire and love of the game, he shone in the win over the Gunners. Playing out on the right wing, he was highly influential, coming away with two assists. The first saw him dart infield before looking up to play a piercing pass through the heart of the home side’s defence, which Sanchez latched on to before opening the scoring.
The attacker later raced on to a Luke Shaw through ball and raced towards the penalty area. In cool, calm and collected fashion, he looked up and played a perfect pass into the feet of Jesse Lingard, who poked home to double their lead.
Lukaku continued to pose a real threat throughout the game and although he may not have found the scoresheet, this performance was a reminder that he is the complete forward.
Breaking Into the Premier League’s Top 20 Scorers – 27/2/19
At the age of just 25, Lukaku entered the Premier League’s top 20 goalscorers of all time as he bagged a brace in United’s win over Crystal Palace back in February.
He ruthlessly curled home a right-footed strike to give his side the lead early on, before doubling his tally early in the second half. Knowing exactly where the goal was, Lukaku swivelled and rifled the ball on the half volley into the roof of the net.
Instinctive finishing – that’s what the best strikers do. Lukaku‘s second strike took his tally to 111 goals in the Premier League, moving into joint-20th place of the all-time scorers.
The forward went on to score two more times in the league for United, finishing – for now, at least – on 113 goals in just 252 games. Critics allude to his first touch, or his ‘inability to show up in big games,’ but his goalscoring record speaks for itself.
Bagging a Brace on THAT Night in Paris – 6/3/19
Paris Saint-Germain dominated their first-leg Champions League tussle with United at Old Trafford, coming away with a 2-0 win – the Red Devils’ first defeat under Solskjaer’s interim management.
An injury-ravaged United travelled to Paris knowing the odds were stacked against them. If they were to win, they would become the first team in Champions League and European Cup history, at the 107th time of asking, to overcome a 2-0 or greater home first-leg deficit.
However, once again, Lukaku stepped up and carried the fight to PSG. A nervy backpass by Thilo Kehrer was intercepted by the Belgian, who charged towards goal before cooly slotting home to give Solskjaer’s men hope.
The hosts equalised soon after, but the attacker was once again on hand to restore his side’s lead on the night as he capitalised on a mistake by Gianluigi Buffon. Marcus Rashford, of course, scored a dramatic last-gasp penalty to complete the remarkable comeback and send his side through.
But both goals from Lukaku were world-class striking play. Anticipating the worst outcome, he capitalised on two mistakes to keep his side in contention.
Multiple Goals in Three Successive Games for First Time in Club Career – 6/3/19
It was a special night for Manchester United but, individually, Lukaku’s brace in Paris meant he had set another personal goalscoring record.
It meant he had scored more than once in three successive matches for the very first time in his career. As previously mentioned, he netted a brace against Palace, which saw him enter the Premier League‘s top 20 scorers of all time.
The attacker then scored twice in the win over Southampton, with his second being an 88th minute winner. And the third came as United prevailed in Paris.
Another outstanding achievement and one that appeared to go completely under the radar.
First Belgian to Reach 50 Goals for His Country – 10/10/19
For his country, Lukaku has a simply outstanding record.
He netted his 50th strike at international level for Belgium in October as he scored twice in a 9-0 thrashing of San Marino. The result meant that Roberto Martinez’s men became the first country through to next summer’s European Championships.
Lukaku ended the qualifying campaign with seven goals and three assists to his name, averaging a goal every 58 minutes. That’s correct, every 58 minutes!
Overall, he now has 52 goals in just 84 appearances. He’s only 26…
Scoring 250th Career Goal – 27/11/19
Although Inter have crashed out of the Champions League, they do find themselves sat at the top of Serie A.
Lukaku has formed an excellent partnership up front with Lautaro Martinez, with the duo linking up to great effect. And although the Belgian has not been in Italy for long, he has already managed to make a significant impact.
He has already equalled a goalscoring record for Inter set by Ronaldo, while he also matched a 70-year record set by Stefano Nyers by netting ten times in his opening 13 Serie A games.
However, most recently, he netted his 250th career goal during I Nerazzurri’s 3-1 win over Slavia Prague, with the attacker having scored 198 club goals and 52 for his country.
It is just the latest milestone for Lukaku, who is continuing to prove his critics wrong.