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Tuesday August 13 2019
Lukaku worth the risk for Conte

Antonio Conte has wanted the Belgian for years, so Sam Wilson analyses how Romelu Lukaku will fit in to this Inter side.

It was one of the most widely discussed and covered rumours of the summer, but last week Inter Milan officially confirmed the signing of Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United. The fee stands at €65m plus €10m in bonuses and a five per cent cut of any future transfer fee. It represents a big gamble on behalf of the Nerazzurri for a player who has drawn a lot of criticism over the past few seasons in England.

Many dismiss Lukaku as a poor player because of his flaws, most notably his movement, heavy first touch and inconsistent dribbling. He is often the topic of Internet ridicule with countless gifs and videos circulating social media to illustrate just how poor he supposedly is. However, Inter have taken the risk and it is one which, with some research, looks as though it will pay off.

You will hardly find a top striker in the world these days with no faults. However, there are few at the top level with a prolificacy in front of goal similar to Lukaku. In the 2018-19 season with Manchester United in the Premier League, the Belgian registered 57.1% of his shots on target, as per statistics from WyScout, whilst converting 21.2% of all his shots into goals.

These are unusually high numbers when compared with his peers and it shows just why it was so important that the club signed him this summer. Even before Mauro Icardi was stripped of his captaincy and frozen out of the team for a period last season, the Argentine’s prowess in front of goal was starting to falter and there is little doubt that the Belgian will be able to pick up the slack and rack up a large tally this season.

Lukaku is also a physical presence. He is both strong and good in the air, meaning that he should be an ideal fit for Conte’s 3-5-2 tactics, able to hold up play at the top of the pitch and win headers to score, as well as bringing other players into the game.

Speaking of chance creation, passing and assists were not Lukaku’s strong point last campaign for Manchester United. However, this could be down to the fact he was playing as a lone striker that relied on the forward as a poacher in a system that didn’t quite suit the role.

Antonio Conte and Romelu Lukaku have wanted to work with one another for some time now and this fact, however insignificant it may seem at first, can also play a huge part in the Belgian’s success at the club.

With Lukaku at his happiest, we should start to see his level elevate and, having just turned 26 in May, he still has a few years until he reaches his peak – meaning Conte has the time to impart knowledge and advice to the striker.

In all, Lukaku is an expensive risk for the Nerazzurri to take, but one that should certainly pay off.

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Have your say...
@Edmulam I see you've chosen to dismiss the obious reason why he fits to Serie A. That's OK. But thinking 2 Lautaros are better than Lautaro+Lukaku because "good players(whatever that means) can play together" just shows you don't know Conte or his tactics or what kind of players he needs.
But hey, if Lukaku is successful feel free to quit Serie A and stick with the Premier League if you think football is all about ramping up "good players" to have the best team.
on the 14th August, 2019 at 6:07pm
I envisage an interesting and even season. Looking forward to the start. I think that Conte and Lukaku will gamble will pay off nicely.
on the 14th August, 2019 at 5:53pm
Not a fan of Lukaku but I hope he scores lots of goals to ram the hate down some of these guys’ throats. Is this not the same league that a 37 year old is among highest goal scorers or Immobile keeps banging them in? There is a reason Conte has been courting him for many years. @edmulam talented players do not always gel as messi does not gel with aguero or dybala.baggio and vialli did not gel, cr7 doesn’t gel with anyone that doesn’t provide space for him etc.
on the 14th August, 2019 at 5:34pm
@Serie fan. Physicality alone cannot be a chief competent to get you into a team more so of inter's stature. Interesting could have done much better to buy a striker who is not just brought there for muscle. Muscle should be an additional attribute but the brain and ball control skills are more important.
That is why people like Pablo Aimar, His Franco Zola etc are legends. Players with muscle like ibra use it to support their core football competencies like ball control and a football brain
on the 14th August, 2019 at 4:26pm
He will be a flop just wait and see. No more than 10 goals plus penalties maybe and all probably against the newly promoted teams. Inter will be worse than last year. No back ups for injuries. I see Inter drawing a lot of games rather than winning but not losing too many. Conte gone by end of season.
on the 14th August, 2019 at 11:40am
One thing that Icardi never able to do is holding up the ball during games. He often got pushed by defenders or lost the ball. Lukaku will be able to do this so other players can move further up
on the 14th August, 2019 at 8:36am
Surely better than any of the signings is the players the club has finally managed to move on? With Icardi represents the last of the trouble makers - although I am sure brozovic can cause a stir when he wants too. Players that are still to leave are Icardi, valero and J Mario. Plenty of time to get rid and replace hopefully!!
on the 14th August, 2019 at 7:52am
Team is really coming together now, no more excuses. Hopefully inter can cash in on icardi and bring in another big name, Dybala or SMS currently the ones most likely. Both bring something new to this team, going to be a lot of competition for spots!
on the 14th August, 2019 at 7:50am
@Timmy. Talent is the most important thing. Even if u get the next Lautaro, u can have them play as twin strikers. . . It is a tactic in football. Good players can play together.
But I see you passively admit Lukaku has huge weaknesses. If he succeeds in serie A, it will show how weak the league has become. I am a calcio fan and I wish the league well. It needs better players than Lukaku. Esp for €75M.
on the 14th August, 2019 at 5:40am
marco_giampaolo will be glad to hear from you marco!!
on the 14th August, 2019 at 3:24am
This Niscist is stupid, ha!!
on the 14th August, 2019 at 2:22am
@Edmulam your analysis has one fatal flaw. One might suspect you're biased and not thinking clearly. You mentioned every attribute except physicality? Why? Lukaku is tall, big and very powerful. Serie a is less physical than the prem so his physicality will stand out even more. I expect him to be a real handful for many defences and at the very least free up space for his strike partner.
on the 14th August, 2019 at 2:09am
though im a Milanista, i read most the blogs on f.i. even the inter ones. haha. i just get the feeling that as giampaolo is getting the tools he needs, hopefully we will get in the top 4. however much it pains me to say this, i say it as i feel it, if conte gets what he needs, he may just win the league
on the 14th August, 2019 at 1:01am
terrible first touch, but his highlight reel speaks for itself, hes scored many great goals for club and country. Its against the smaller teams that he supposedly scores the most during his career, well that's fine, its these games that inter seem to drop so many points. This is by far the strongest inter team since the treble and anyone watching the pre season training/matches can see what a difference conte has already implemented. Bravo inter for giving him all the players he has asked for!
on the 14th August, 2019 at 12:24am
Forza Inter, and keep mafia Juve in serie B
on the 13th August, 2019 at 8:36pm
Conte has proven he can get the job done. Give him the tools he asks for. Simple.
on the 13th August, 2019 at 8:17pm
Edmulam you say it yourself: the next Lautaro. Inter already have a Lautaro. Lukaku just happens to fit exactly who conte needs in that position. I disagree with the price tag but at least the goals will come. He has scored regularly even in his worst season. He's not a runner and is perfect for Serie A for his physique and ability to bully defenders in tight spaces.
on the 13th August, 2019 at 7:55pm
With tha kind of money, intr should have secured a better striker from South America. In serie A, space is a lot more limited than EPL so Lukaku will not have space to run. Teams will sit back against inter so he cant run and does not have the first touch, movement or accelleration or football brain, technique or body balance reqired to be a superstar. Surely inter can do better. They could have gotten the next Lautaro martinez with that cash.
on the 13th August, 2019 at 4:55pm
It's not even. Not even close. Juve will crush everyone again, Napoli will come in second, and Inter will crash around December like every year. Expect the toupet tactician to be fired around January, maybe sooner if they draw Galatasaray in their CL group.
on the 13th August, 2019 at 4:39pm
THIS YEAR COMPETITION WILL BE EVEN I THINK. GIVEN JUVENTAS WITH MANY NEW PLAYERS PLUS SARRI WITH HIS SARRIBALL. NAPOLI WILL BE MORE ATTACKING AND FLYING BUT LESS GROUNDING THAN INTER AND JUVENTAS. IN EUROPE INTER NEEDS TO DISCOVER THEMSELVES RATHER THAN FAIRYTALE.
on the 13th August, 2019 at 1:19pm
The way conte represents himself if we finished as wise last two seasons behind napoli that would be shamblic for us and for conte"s global trotting reputation also!!
on the 13th August, 2019 at 1:04pm
MANY THINGS BEEN SAID ABOUT LUKAKU. BUT HE IS THE REMINISCENT OF DROGBA OF CURRENT FRAME OF HALL. CONFIDE HIM WITH TRUST AND LOVE FANS WILL FORGIVE ICARDI FOR CREATING A OPERA. WE NEED TO LOOK AT THE PITFALLS INTER USUALLY HAVE. NEEDS TO BE MORE MERCILESS AGAINST SMALLER OPPOSITION AND THE REST WILL OVER TIME DECIDE......
on the 13th August, 2019 at 12:13pm

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