Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Lukaku expresses Inter affection after clinching Scudetto

SoccerNews in Serie A 2 May 2021

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Romelu Lukaku expressed his deep affection for Inter in a sign he wants to stay with the newly crowned Serie A champions following their Scudetto coronation.

Inter, who won 2-0 at Crotone on Saturday, were crowned champions by virtue of second-placed Atalanta failing to beat Sassuolo on Sunday, leaving an unassailable 13-point gap.

Lukaku played a key role in delivering Inter their first Serie A title since 2009-10, the former Manchester United forward scoring 21 goals and tallying 10 assists to fuel the club’s charge this season.

The Belgium international’s exploits have reportedly made him a target for Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City but Lukaku appears happy in Milan.

Lukaku got in his car on Sunday and celebrated Inter’s first Scudetto in 11 years with the fans on the streets.

“I am so happy for all the Inter fans in the world, for the team, the staff, the president and everyone,” Lukaku told Sky Sport Italia.

“It was a wonderful year for us, I am truly proud to play for Inter. I wanted to come out here and celebrate along with the people.

“I told my friend this was the best way to experience it, to be there with the fans. For me and many of my team-mates, this is our first league title, so it’s a moment we wanted to share with them.”

Not since his final season at Everton has Lukaku attempted or completed more dribbles (97 and 52 in 2020-21), meaning he is back facing the goal again, involved in 13 counter-attacks – his most since 2014-15. He also has 10 assists for the first time.

Yet Lukaku is still taking the largest share of his touches in the box to date (18.3 per cent), leading to a career-high 35 big chances.

From such positions, he can afford to squander 17 big chances and net only 16 non-penalty goals from efforts worth 16.8 xG, another new benchmark.

Lukaku is now scoring with a staggering 23.6 per cent of his shots – making him the first Serie A player since 2004-05 to tally 20 goals and 10 assists in the same season.

“Last year was good too, but yes, this was the best of my career,” Lukaku, who arrived from United in 2019, said.

“It’s wonderful and I hope to continue like this. I want to thank everyone, I am truly so happy.”

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