Romelu Lukaku breaks silence on shocking Chelsea exit
Romelu Lukaku has talked about the “shocking” treatment he faced at Chelsea in the summer before sealing a move away from Stamford Bridge.
The Belgian, who returned following a loan spell at Inter Milan, found no future under new boss Mauricio Pochettino and was forced to train away from the first-team whilst a resolution was found. A proposed move to Juventus broke down with Lukaku eventually sealing a switch to Roma on loan – with a fee for a potential permanent deal agreed.
There he reunited with Jose Mourinho, who had signed him whilst at Manchester United. Pochettino spoke publicly about the player needing to leave west London and Lukaku, previously Chelsea’s record signing, has admitted people would be stunned if they knew what he faced.
The 30-year-old said: “Most people in this room know me. You know that I don’t like to beat around the bush. I will speak when the time is right, but if I told you how things really went last summer, everyone would be shocked. There were moments when I felt like I could explode and five years ago I probably would’ve done. Now I am concentrated only on what I can do best, which is playing football. I worked hard all summer.”
Lukaku has began to find the net once more at the Stadio Olimpico, scoring seven times already this season. He’s previously enjoyed success in the Italian top flight, winning Serie A with Inter before returning to the Premier League.
He attempted to reignite that relationship last season when he returned to the San Siro on loan having struggled to hit the heights expected at the Blues. Lukaku wasn’t as prolific as his first spell though, copping criticism for his cameo in the Champions League final, which Inter lost.
“I was a bit uncomfortable after the Champions League final,” he admitted. “But my mind was troubled because of what happened in the days leading up to it. I will talk about that later.”
One option that was on the table for Lukaku was a switch to Saudi Arabia. A host of players from Europe, including several of his former Chelsea team-mates, opted to take the lucrative contracts on offer as the Kingdom attempts to grow their league, but the Belgian claimed the time wasn’t right.
He said: “I was honoured by their interest, but after the conversations we had, I was not completely convinced. The league will become one of the biggest in the world, but I didn’t want to leave Europe yet. I knew full well what was going to happen this summer and there were a few clubs I certainly would not go to. Ultimately, you have to consider what happened in recent years on a football and personal level, which is why I made my choice.”