Belgium boss Roberto Martinez says Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku just wants to feel 'important'

 Romelu Lukaku of Belgium is injured during the UEFA Nations League match between Belgium and the Netherlands at the King Baudouin Stadium on June 3, 2022 in Brussels, Belgium. 


Belgium manager Roberto Martinez says Romelu Lukaku just wants to feel 'important' to a team, with doubts surrounding his future at Chelsea.

The 29-year-old's return to Stamford Bridge has not gone as planned since his £98million move from Inter Milan last summer.

There has been heavy speculation that Lukaku could return to the Serie A side on either a permanent transfer or a season-long loan.

Martinez, who also previously managed Lukaku at Everton, said that he is sure Lukaku will make the right decision this summer.

He told reporters ahead of Saturday's Nations League clash with Wales: 'He wants to be important and enjoy his football. I'm sure the decision in the summer will be the right one.

'In Belgium we are quite relaxed with Romelu's situation. I know it is a big topic, but at the moment he is trying to recover from the injury and that's the only thing he has in his mind.

'If he stays at Chelsea it will be for the right reasons. If he's moving away it will be because everyone agrees to it.

'Romelu is a player I know very well. I managed him at club level (at Everton) at a very young age.

'He was 19 and had a very different position than he has now. Now he's a player who is very mature and very clear what he wants.'

Lukaku scored just eight Premier League goals for Chelsea in 26 appearances, having netter 24 times for Inter Milan in their Serie A title winning campaign in 2020-21.

Brought in to be the main man at Chelsea, he often struggled to get into the starting line-up in the second-half of the season, with Thomas Tuchel often preferring to play a false nine.

Lukaku released a bombshell interview where he stated his unhappiness at Stamford Bridge in December and also cited a desire to return to the San Siro. 

Lukaku, who is reportedly willing to take a 50 per cent pay cut to facilitate a switch back to Italy, was asked about his future while away on international duty. 

Ahead of Belgium's 4-1 defeat by Holland earlier this month, reporters asked the 29-year-old whether he would be returning to Italy this summer. 

The striker - who limped off injured during the Nations League fixture - remained tight-lipped, telling the press he 'can't talk about the future'.

Chelsea's iconic goalkeeper, Petr Cech, has backed Lukaku to stay put and become stronger next season.

The boardroom member feels Lukaku was set back by both niggling injuries and the impact of contracting Covid-19 and is confident he will show fans his true quality. 

'I personally believe he will have a great season,' he said, via Football Daily. 

'Last season we [saw] how strong he can be when he came. Unfortunately, the long term injury he sustained against Villa slowed everything down, and then he had Covid as well.

'We could see towards the end of the season when he was fit and ready to go how strong he is. We had a particular season with the Covid issues around Christmas. He was one of those players affected.

'I have full confidence he will bounce back and have a strong season.' 

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post