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Romelu Lukaku set to reunite with Jose Mourinho at Roma

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku is set for another season out on loan and the Belgium international will be hoping to revitalise his career under Jose Mourinho at Roma.

Mourinho signed Lukaku for Manchester United in 2017 and his Roma side, who are 20/1 to win Serie A this season, have seemingly fought off competition from rivals Juventus and Inter Milan to snap up the 30-year-old forward.

WhatSerie A 2023/24
WhereItaly
WhenSunday 20th August 2023 - Sunday 26th May 2024
How to watchbet365's European Soccer Live Streaming Highlights and TNT Sports
OddsInter Milan 2/1, Napoli 11/4, Juventus 10/3, AC Milan 15/4, Roma 20/1 

Prolific Lukaku races to 100-goal landmark in Premier League

Lukaku burst on to the scene as a prolific teenage goalscorer at Anderlecht in his native Belgium, earning a transfer to Chelsea in August 2011.

He struggled for first-team opportunities at Stamford Bridge, but enjoyed successful Premier League loan spells at West Brom in 2012/13 and Everton the following season, before making a permanent move to Goodison Park in the summer of 2014.

He averaged almost a goal every other game for the Toffees in the league, attracting the attention of Jose Mourinho's Man Utd, who paid an initial transfer fee of £75m for the striker in July 2017.

He made a blistering start to his career at Old Trafford, scoring 10 times in his first nine appearances for the Red Devils in all competitions, and towards the end of his first campaign he notched his 100th Premier League goal in a win over Swansea City.

However, Lukaku endured a difficult second season at United in 2018/19 as the goals dried up, Mourinho was sacked just before Christmas and his successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to play Marcus Rashford up front more regularly than the Belgian. 

Goals fire Inter to Serie A title triumph

Lukaku's somewhat underwhelming spell at Old Trafford did not put off Inter Milan, who broke their club transfer record to bring him to San Siro in the summer of 2019.

It proved to be an inspired signing for the Nerazzurri. The striker scored with his first shot on his Serie A debut against Lecce and ended the season with 23 league goals as Inter finished just one point behind champions Juventus.

Lukaku's exciting strike partnership with Argentina international Lautaro Martinez continued to flourish in 2020/21, when Inter ended their 11-year wait for a Serie A title.

Only Cristiano Ronaldo scored more goals than Lukaku's 24, but a £97.5m return to Chelsea for the 2021/22 season swiftly turned sour despite him scoring in the first 15 minutes of his opening game against Arsenal.

A falling-out with manager Thomas Tuchel was followed by a loss of form and a return to Inter on loan for the 2022/23 campaign followed. 

However, it was a season of missed opportunities for Lukaku.

He failed to convert several clear chances against Croatia as Belgium suffered a shock group-stage exit from the 2022 World Cup and was also wasteful in front of goal after coming off the bench in Inter's Champions League final defeat to Manchester City. 

Roaming Romelu hoping to feel at home in Rome

Reflecting on Lukaku's struggles at Old Trafford, Mourinho said in 2021: "He’s a big guy, physically so strong, but there is also a kid inside who needs that love, needs that support, needs to feel important."

Both player and manager will hope that the move to Roma can spark an upturn in form, as Lukaku was among the world's best strikers during his first two seasons at Inter.

Still only 30, he has a phenomenal international record, netting 75 times in 108 appearances for Belgium and could provide a much-needed focal point to the Roma attack. 

Andrea Belotti scored twice in Roma's opening 2-2 draw with Salernitana, but his career in the Italian capital has been blighted by injury and Mourinho's men slipped to a 2-1 loss at Hellas Verona - who survived a relegation play-off last season - in their second fixture. 

Paulo Dybala is the shortest-priced Roma representative in the Serie A Top Goalscorer market at 28/1, followed by midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini at 100/1, but Lukaku has excellent pedigree in the Italian top-flight, scoring 47 league goals in just 72 games for Inter.

Roma have had success in Europe under Mourinho, winning the Europa Conference League in 2021/22 before losing on penalties to Sevilla in last season's Europa League final and they are 5/2 to finish in the top four of Serie A.

There are parallels between Lukaku's playing career and Mourinho's managerial odyssey - both have had two spells at Chelsea, disappointing exits from Man Utd and glory days with Inter - so it will be interesting to see whether the Portuguese coach can inspire Romelu's Roman renaissance.

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