Opinion

Lukaku should take the Roma option now

TOPSHOT - Inter Milan's Belgian forward #90 Romelu Lukaku reacts to a missed chance during the UEFA Champions League final football match between Inter Milan and Manchester City at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, on June 10, 2023. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP) (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)
Andy Mattioli
I

Belgian international Romelu Lukaku is heading to the twilight years of his career and he can now look back and say he has achieved much so far. While he may be considered a flop in some quarters, there are clubs the big forward has played for that will look at his impact with fond memories.

A Serie A winner with Inter Milan, Lukaku has also enjoyed good spells in his native Belgium and in England. However, despite his huge profile, the striker seems to be struggling to find a permanent home. In the UK, Lukaku has played for West Bromwich Albion, Everton, Manchester United and Chelsea on two different spells.

With the current instability about his situation at Chelsea, you can bet he will be moved on. As we approach the final days of the transfer window, Lukaku leaving England is a top bet. It could even feature among the top bookies in England. In case you want to see some of these, Cheekypunter has a good review of the best football betting sites in the UK, which even have the ratings and offers available when betting with them.

Top destination

Italian side AS Roma has emerged as one of the top destinations for Lukaku in the next phase of his career. The welcoming hands of Roma manager Jose Mourinho will not be too hard for Lukaku to resist. If this is an option, any sane advisor would tell Lukaku to take it. It is very clear the Belgian has no place in Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino’s plans. For a moment, it had seemed as if Lukaku would be heading to Juventus after his loan spell at Inter Milan last season. A public outcry however seems to have jolted the Old Lady and it is now back to Square One.

If indeed the Roma offer is solid, it will offer Lukaku not only an escape route from Chelsea, but also a chance to reinvent himself, away from the grueling English media. It hasn’t been easy for Lukaku at Chelsea on his second spell. He did fall out with former manager Thomas Tuchel while there are reports he hasn’t had contact with the current manager to try and establish his place at the club.

Transfer saga

For the striker, this is now degenerating into a saga, and at 30, looking to settle, that will not be what he wants for the remainder of his career. The fact that Chelsea spent about $100m to get him from Inter on the back of a great season two years ago hurts the club’s hierarchy. The toughest part now for Lukaku and Chelsea, is that he has a contract with the club yet his future is no longer about football, but emotions.

The man who would embrace him at the Blues, Roman Abramovic is no longer there and the club is charting a whole new path. Roma manager Mourinho stoked the fires recently stating that Chelsea have mismanaged the forward. This coming at a time he is linked with the striker for a third stint could be deliberate. By this time, it is expected Mourinho has already had some contact with Lukaku. His previous success and in Italy and having worked with Mourinho should be enough for Lukaku to leave London for Rome.

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MatchDay 36
12 May 20:45
Atalanta
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Roma