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Arsenal legend and television pundit, Thierry Henry has said that he warned Romelu Lukaku that moving to Chelsea in 2021 didn’t make sense from a football point of view. Lukaku, who is now back on loan at Inter Milan, only stayed at Chelsea for one season after signing for the London club for £97.5m.
Despite getting off to a strong start, things quickly turned sour for the Belgian after he conducted an interview with Sky Italia. Lukaku told the Italian publication that he wasn’t enjoying himself at Chelsea, didn’t like Thomas Tuchel’s tactics and declared his love for Inter Milan.
Shortly after, the former Manchester United and Everton man publicly apologised to his manager, teammates and fans via a video on social media. However, the damage was done and Chelsea sent him back to Inter Milan last summer.
Henry, who coached Lukaku with Belgium, has now said that he warned the forward against the move from the very start. He said:
“We had a discussion when he went to Chelsea. I told him he was going to find it difficult to play at Chelsea and that happened to be the case because of the way Tuchel Liked to play. Under Tuchel, the No.9 and winger have to change when pressing but Rom likes to stay where he is. He’s a different type of No.9 to what Tuchel wanted.”
Back among the goals in Italy
Although Lukaku is yet to get close to the heights he achieved during his first stint at Inter under Antonio Conte, the 29-year-old is said to be enjoying his football again. Injuries have slowed him down somewhat this season but he netted a crucial goal for his side last night in the Champions League.
With their first leg against Porto drawing to a close, Lukaku bagged an 86th-minute winner which gives the Italian outfit a slender advantage ahead of the second leg in Portugal in three weeks’ time.
"I am so happy for Rom. He looks fitter, he looks slimmer, he wants it."
Thierry Henry praises Romelu Lukaku who scored the winner for Inter. 👏 pic.twitter.com/37BwG0oyMy
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) February 22, 2023
After the game, Lukaku spoke of his determination to kick on and regain his form on a game-by-game basis. He said:
“I focus on myself, the present. I just want to perform and prepare myself for the next game at the weekend.”
Is another return to Chelsea on the cards?
As Lukaku is only currently only at Inter Milan on a season-long loan deal, there is every chance that he could return to Stamford Bridge once again this summer. The Belgian, however, isn’t particularly keen on the idea and has been open about his desire to stay in Milan.
Should Graham Potter still be the Chelsea boss in the summer, then Henry has similar doubts about whether Lukaku would be a good fit or not for his type of football. The 45-year-old said:
“Is he going to fit into what Potter is trying to do? I think they’re struggling with that, let alone with him in the squad. But what does he want to do? I don’t think he wants to go back, that’s the main thing, I think he wants to stay at Inter.
That’s where there’s maybe going to be a little clash if they want him back because I think he wants to stay in Milan. He said it the other day – ‘everyone knows what I want to do, what I want to do is to stay’”.