Romelu Lukaku’s return to Chelsea last season was a disaster (Photo: Getty)
Former Premier League forward Paolo Di Canio has blasted former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, citing his poor record in big games.
Lukaku re-joined Chelsea from Inter Milan last summer for a club record £97.5million, but just a year later he has moved back to Inter on loan.
The usually prolific striker scored just eight Premier League goals last season as he struggled to adapt to Thomas Tuchel’s style of play, and ignited controversy in December after giving an interview where he infamously stated his desire to return to Italy.
Lukaku is back at Inter Milan on loan (Photo: Getty)
He is now back at the Serie A side where he endured much success from 2019 to 2021, scoring 64 goals in 95 games and winning the title.
The Belgian international received a fair amount of criticism last season, and it does not appear to be going away any time soon, with former Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham, and Charlton player Di Canio telling Sky Sports Italy: ‘Romelu Lukaku flops in crucial games.
‘It’s not an opinion, it is a fact. It’s what he showed in his seven-year spell in the Premier League.’
Di Canio, who also turned out for Inter’s two biggest rivals AC Milan, and Juventus, does have a point here and it is one that has often plagued Lukaku throughout his career.
The 29-year-old is one of the best strikers of his generation, having scored 121 Premier League goals across 278 games for West Brom, Everton, Manchester United and Chelsea.
However, his record against England’s ‘big six’ clubs is not so endearing, as in his 101 games in all competitions against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, United and Tottenham, Lukaku has found the back of the net just 21 times.
For comparison, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has scored 39 goals in just 73 appearances versus the same opponents, whilst Tottenham’s Harry Kane has managed 35 goals in 83 ‘big six’ fixtures.
Given that Inter’s loan deal does not contain a buy-out clause for Lukaku, Chelsea fans may hope that the player regains his form in Italy when he ends up returning to Stamford Bridge in 2023.
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