Categories: SS Columns

Romelu Lukaku – Belgium’s football machine

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Romelu Lukaku joined Inter Milan from Manchester United (Image credit: Getty)

Probably almost every young person, who engages in football, dreams of becoming a world-class striker someday. That position is the most desired one as the goal scorers are the ones who have the most fame, and, let’s admit it – most recognition. However, with so much competition, getting to the top is not an easy task, and in order to break through on the global scene, footballers need to have a comprehensive set of skills which include speed, shot accuracy, enhanced football moves, confidence, and “touch”, which is the ability to control the ball.

In recent years Romelu Menama Lukaku Bolingoli, or simply Romelu Lukaku, is one of the strikers who stand out in top tier European leagues. In fact, he literally “stands out” as he is a large and physically powerful striker with an impressive physics and 1.90m height. Born on 13 May 1993 in Belgium’s city of Antwerp, Lukaku started playing football for the local team Rupel Boom at the young age of 5.

The scouts of Lierse, which had an established youth academy, discovered Lukaku’s talent, and from 2004 to 2006 he played for Lierse scoring the impressive 121 goals in 68 matches. He played another three years as a youth player with Anderlecht, scoring 131 goals in just 93 games. At his 16th birthday, the striker signed his first professional contract with Anderlecht. Romelu ended the 2009-10 season as the top goalscorer in the Belgian Pro League with 15 goals, while Anderlecht won its 30th Belgian title.

Lukaku’s ability to score a goal after goal did not go unnoticed, and in August 2011 he joined one of Premier League’s most successful clubs – Chelsea. Although for most of the 2011-12 season he was on the bench, he started his first Premier League match against Blackburn Rovers on his 19th birthday – 13 May 2012, and made himself a fantastic present by becoming the man of the match after providing an assist for John Terry’s opening goal. Lukaku joined West Bromwich Albion and Everton teams on a season-long loan, in 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons respectively, and his extraordinary performance was widely recognised, with The Guardian describing him as “one of the ten most promising young footballers in Europe”.

Romelu Lukaku

Despite being loaned out, Lukaku outscored all of his Chelsea teammates in the Premier League while playing for West Brom, scoring a total of 17 goals. Besides, he helped Everton to reach a club record of 72 Premier League points, and in 2014 the striker joined the team in a permanent deal worth a club-record fee of £28 million. While playing for Everton, Lukaku scored 25 goals in two consecutive seasons in all competitions and in 2017 the Belgian goal machine was named in the PFA Team of the Year.

Romelu’s successes truly impressed the UK’s football society, and his immense talent was noticed by Manchester United’s manager at the time Jose Mourinho. Lukaku joined Manchester United with a five-year contract in 2017, and while playing for the Red Devils, his achievements took the headlines numerous times. Lukaku took the tally to score 10 goals in his first nine appearances with a Manchester United form and broke the record set by Sir Bobby Charlton who had scored nine goals in his first nine appearances for the team.

He proved his astonishing goalscoring abilities and helped Manchester United in its second game against Paris Saint-Germain to the Champions League quarter-finals when the Red Devils’ 3–1 win made them the first team that had progressed after losing at home in the first leg by two goals or more. On 8 August 2019, Lukaku joined the top-tier Italian club Inter Milan for a fee reported to be a club record €80 million. According to rumours, Inter’s manager Antonio Conte has long been an admirer of Lukaku and wanted to sign him since he was the head of Chelsea.

In his debut for Inter, Lukaku scored, which meant that he had netted a goal in his first league games for five of the six clubs for which he played: Anderlecht, West Brom, Everton, Manchester United, and Inter. Lukaku matched his ultimate idol Ronaldo’s record of nine goals in his first 11 Seria A appearances for Inter.

Romelu’s statistics, especially in the English football league, where he played for most of his career up to now, truly blow experts away, as his 113 Premier League goals made him one of the 20 top scorers in the history of the competition. Only 11 players have reached the 100-goal tally in fewer games than the Belgian striker. Besides, Lukaku is the fifth youngest of the 28 players to reach score 100 goals in the Premier League.

Since playing for Inter, Lukaku continues proving his elite-striker status as he scored 23 goals in 35 matches up to now, netting 20 goals in just 29 games, which is faster than any Inter Milan player in history. Following that, you can see why most of the free tips for the Nerazzurri’s games are based not only on whether he will score but also on how many times he will find the net. This is why football tipsters closely follow Lukaku’s recent form, considering whether he is injured or exhausted.

Since 2010, Romelu has been playing for the Belgium national football team, and despite his young age, he already managed to become a national football hero. He has played 84 games for his country up to now, and netted 52 goals, becoming Belgium’s all-time top goalscorer.

Recently he defined himself as “a man on a mission” ever since Belgium’s third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup, revealing that the disappointment of not making Belgium the world’s number one team had encouraged him to improve in his career.

Looking at the statistics, which show that Romelu almost doubled his average goals per game in club competitions, with 0.65 goals per match in season 2019-20 compared to his previous season average of 0.33 goals per game, we can confirm one undoubted fact – Lukaku’s mission is not only possible but already more than successful.

Balachandran B @jinofhell

Co-founder & Head of Operations @ SoccerSouls Sports Network. Nick Name: Jin. Favorite Sports team: Arsenal Follow me @Jin

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