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Friday February 19 2021
Lukaku is Inter’s engine

Romelu Lukaku has played a key part in Inter’s victories and Richard Hall explains why a new meeting with Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not the derby’s most important talking point.

It made perfect sense that Maserati had chosen Romelu Lukaku to advertise their new Levante Trofeo.

The concept was to show off a potent mix of power and elegance and the advert worked. Dressed in Versace, the Belgian forward drives around the streets of Milan looking extremely dapper whilst testing the new machine. He tells the camera ‘Talent is the engine and attitude is the accelerator, I may have more in common with Maserati than you think’.

So many times this season the forward’s power made him look like a force of nature and he will be ready to show this again in the Derby Della Madonnina on Sunday.

Marco Parolo needed fuel injection to keep up in Inter’s 3-1 win over Lazio last week-end. Lukaku made the footballing world gasp as his incredible burst of speed embarrassed the 36-year-old, he was outstripped and could do nothing as the Belgian played all across for Lautaro Martinez to tap in.

It was perhaps apt, that in the week where former Inter great Adriano had his birthday, that Lukaku emulated him in pace power and technique. “Romelu works so hard for the team and sometimes I have to start the runs early to keep up with him on those counter-attacks,”Martinez told Sky Sport Italia after the game.

The Argentine was not the only one to heap praise on him after the game. Former legend Jurgen Klinsmann claimed in the week that, Lukaku was one of the best five forwards in the world and should be proud.

His two goals and an assist in his last game typified the way he is developing in Milan. The final goal meant he reached 300 career goals and what is more he has done this at a younger age than Zlatan Ibrahimović, Robert Lewandowski and Luis Suarez.

He is certainly starting to get the recognition he deserves but he is still keeping his humble manner, as Martinez pointed out, he gives a lot for the team and his game simply does not just focus on goals.

Going into the Derby Della Madonnina, he is in rich form. He scored in the Coppa Italia against Milan, decimated Benevento getting a brace and was a force of nature against Lazio.

Perhaps, against Fiorentina and Juventus he was not at his scintillating best, but he also was not bad.

This season his statistics are up there, no argument. In Serie A, he has started 18 times (three as sub) and scored 16 goals with four assists. In the Champions League, he has played five games and scored four goals and for Belgium, he has played five, scored five and registered an assist.

As the Derby Della Madonnina approaches, it has an unusual backdrop as the Milan teams sit on top of the table with the Nerazzurri a point ahead of their neighbours.

It has a nostalgic feel to it and Lukaku has played a part in that too. His confrontation with Zlatan Ibrahimović was seen as a clash of titans, it gives the game even more rivalry.

There is even a mural that has appeared outside of San Siro with the tag line ‘head to head, heart to heart’ and pictures the moment they clashed. Lukaku did lose his head in that game but composed himself and netted a penalty in the second half, Zlatan in turn saw red.

 

Whilst there will be much talk of this incident pre-game, perhaps the main talking point should be just how important this game is.

Juventus are eight points behind Inter (albeit with a game in hand) they lost last weekend as did Milan (to Spezia) and the Nerazzurri are the inform team. The thought of Lukaku and Martinez counter attacking as they did against Lazio will give Milan food for thought and if Inter win this they have to be considered favourites for the Scudetto.

 

If Inter are to motor towards the title then Lukaku will be the man providing the power in the machine.

His mental strength and ambition certainly seems to be rubbing off on his team mates and his unselfish nature provides a new template of how a center forward can operate by both being clinical and yet giving so much for others.

He is not perfect, that is for sure, but there are few players who work harder than he does at always improving himself. At the moment, that is a powerful, elegant and dynamic creation, just like a Maserati.

 

@RichHall80

Have your say...
Turns out this was spot on
on the 22nd February, 2021 at 11:18pm
@ JUVE PAYED 40 MILLION FOR BERNARDESCHI : what exactly am I lying about ? i never mentioned a single thing about wages so you will have to be more specific since I have no idea what assumption you are working off because most likely whatever it is, it's probably wrong.
on the 22nd February, 2021 at 6:39pm
@Anonymous: Where do i mention anything about CR7 in an article about Lukaku? but if you are talking about Lukaku my question is "what has he won?"
@ JUVE PAYED 40 MILLION FOR BERNARDESCHI: Wages. Juve: 294 Inter: 139.....which team is going Bankrupt again? and yes Inter are, that's why they are selling the team.
@ Franco UnBaresi: At least someone that knows soccer is posting here !
on the 22nd February, 2021 at 6:11pm
Top 5 pure CF in the world, only Lewa & Kane are better, equal with Haaland & Suarez. At first I thought his main forte is hold up play & aerial prowess. But conte has shown that Lukaku’s actual power is speed & strength. He’s not that great of a dribbler, but when he has the ball & given space to run at defenders, no one can stop him. I have yet to see a defender outrun & outstrength Lukaku.
He has also scored against Lazio, Roma, Milan & Napoli. Big games player.
He should be more clinical tho
on the 20th February, 2021 at 4:53pm
Romelu Lukaku like it or not has been a good buy for inter...he has been excellent...for such a big guy he is really fast...lukaku...barrella...hakimi...skriniar...bastoni...this five players will play in any team....lukaku was amazing at Everton too...he wasn’t that good at Manchester United but who was...Man U were a mess when he was there.
on the 20th February, 2021 at 3:15pm
@Franco UnBaresi

It was one of those transfers that suited all parties involved. The fee United got was good for a player who didn't fit in and the player Inter got has exceeded expectations. I thought he'd do well in a Conte style team but not quite as well as he's done. All in all I think everyone can be happy with the deal
on the 20th February, 2021 at 3:15pm
@IMJISB, to suggest that CR7 is mentally fragile is probably the most ridiculous thing that I've ever seen on these pages.You don't win what he has with a weak mindset, all those trophies, awards, the number of records that he has broken, his continued drive and hunger, the shape he's in and that he has chosen to test himself in England Spain and Italy tells those with an ounce of sense that he's the polar opposite of being mentally weak.
on the 20th February, 2021 at 12:14pm
I Miss MB - Your really are a poor wind up merchant are you not? RL scored a hat trick against for WBA against MU in SAF's last game in charge for a start. And once again we have to point out that Rubentus have never won a EC/CL without penalties - dodgy dives outside the area or killing the game to go to penalties. You are of course correct that Inter can self destruct - a bit like Juve in Europe??????
on the 20th February, 2021 at 10:59am
Lukaku superior to Rashford, Martial, Greenwood and Cavani? Maybe in a Conte system, but at United his first touch and decison making constantly destroyed promising attacks. Maybe it's just confidence, but United selling him and buying Fernandes for £15m-20m less and signing the superior Cavani on a free is without a doubt good business for them, even if it has worked out well for Inter too.
on the 20th February, 2021 at 7:59am
I MISS MB.

As usual, youre lying like a true juventino. Google Serie A wages and transfers.

2020-21 Wages. Juve: 294
Inter: 139

The years before Conte the difference in money spent was even bigger.

Lukaku, Lautaro, Barella, Hakimi and De Vrij combined make less than Ronaldo, but were 8 points clear top in the top.

LOL
on the 19th February, 2021 at 11:34pm
@I miss MB at Inter
I guess its a matter of differnt leagues, different game but I see MU 10 pts shy of ManCity in the table. Perhaps Ole Gunnar really didn't know how to utilize this man's talent.Is he a superior player to Rashford,Martial,Greenwood and Cavani?
Yes i think so and Man U would be a better more forceful team with Lukaku.
Conte is no fool having won the EPL and recognizing that Lukaku was undervalued and uncomfortable with the English style of play.
Now the results speak for Lukaku
on the 19th February, 2021 at 8:48pm
@TorreDG: The guy scored 1 goal against the top 6 teams in England like what are you going to do with a striker like that ? .......and COnte begged Inter to buy him so what did you expect ManU to do? they did not budge on the price - they did not have to cuz they knew Suning had money to spend and Conte would want him at all costs! they did not sell him cheap either, it's one of the better deals that ManU has done over the years. It was good for both teams
on the 19th February, 2021 at 7:25pm
I MISS JUVE IN SERIA B: I wish Juve had spent as much as Inter has in the last 5 years...the results are showing - more owners than trophies! Inter has won nothing so far and if May 5th 2002 has taught us anything it's that even when it's in your grasps Inter somehow manages to screw it up and if this season has taught us anything, it's that when it's win or go home, inter choke. Let's hope you win, i wouldn't want you to thrown a parade of May 29 to celebrate 10 years of NOTHING !!
on the 19th February, 2021 at 7:21pm
What was ManU thinking? Conte saw something ,as he has excelled as a player and leader for Inter and Conte wanted/needed him badly, some thought he overpaid. Not any more. As his confidence grows so grows Inter’s success . Most of all the team has found a true leader who works hard and sacrifices when necessary .What more can you ask and he’s only 28. Unquestionably he has became one of the worlds best and has a chance to disrupt Serie A , reaching for the Scudetto trophy. Bravo Lukaku!!
on the 19th February, 2021 at 6:52pm
@I MISS MARCO BRANCA AT INTER... He is good, don't worry about him. His team sitting 8 points above constant European competition failure Italian team and well not embarrassed in Porto too. Oh! and except you, nobody thinks that he's psychologically and mentally more fragile than that spoiled brat cr7, maybe only Neymar tops him! But the you're Jube fan can't expect more. You didnt tell us how that 2-0 went for you? Were you in coma or had a strok? you were nowhere to be found!
on the 19th February, 2021 at 6:33pm
Well he should be nice and rested these days since he can sit at home and watch European competition instead of taking part in them ! And no fans at Meazza has been really helping him because if you look at last season, the majority of the goals came on the road and very few in front of home fans which shows that psychologically he is fragile. I'm glad Icardi is gone because i would hate to admit it but him a Julio Cruz were Juve slayers.
on the 19th February, 2021 at 5:39pm

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