Inter Milan forward, Romelu Lukaku has hit his 30 career goals at the age of 27 faster than Luiz Suarez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Robert Lewandowski.
Once labeled “unprofessional” and criticized for his touch, the deadly Inter star, Romelu Lukaku is the game’s most underrated striker. The reason being, it was rather poignant that the striker’s match highlight against Lazio on Sunday was not scoring his 300th career goal in Inter’s 3-1 victory.
During his time at Manchester United, control, coolness, desire, and willingness to work for the team were the critics. Now, as the Inter forward marks 300 senior goals, it’s time to recognize him as the modern game’s most under-rated forward.
At the age of 27, Lukaku has reached 300 goals quicker than Milan rival Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Cristiano Ronaldo was also aged 27 when he hit 300 goals while Luiz Suarez and Robert Lewandowski were both older than the Belgian when they hit the milestone.
However, the most impressive part is that the Belgian’s career hit a slump during his time at Chelsea. He only played 12 times in the 2011/12 season. Since then, Lukaku also has double-digit league goal tallies in each of the last nine seasons.
Why Does Lukaku Not Receive Praise As Suarez and Lewandowski?
At Manchester United, Lukaku was always a scapegoat. Videos of Lukaku’s heavy touches circulated the internet and as soon as the goals dried up for the Belgian striker in United, his fate was finally sealed.
In his final season at Old Trafford, Lukaku began the Premier League season with five in his first five games. He scored twice in United’s stunning Champions League last-16 result in Paris and bullied Arsenal’s defenders in the same year’s FA Cup fourth-round win.
The glimpses of a star player were regular given that he became the fifth-fastest player to reach 100 Premier League goals and the youngest foreigner to ever reach the milestone. But not everyone saw this.
Upon his arrival to Inter Milan, Gary Neville accused him of being overweight and branded his “unprofessionalism” as “contagious”. Inter ignored the claims that Lukaku spread negativity around Old Trafford. Instead, the side gave the Belgian the chance to be the main man.
As a result, Lukaku’s statistics have skyrocketed. The 27-year-old has started roughly the same number of games for Inter as he did United. He also has a much better goal tally and goal involvement ratio.
It’s at Inter where Lukaku is finally stepping into the limelight. However, he needs the accolades to prove it. One negative aspect of his career is that he has no trophies since a Belgian league title with Anderlecht to show how far he has come in his career.
Scoring against Zlatan’s Milan this weekend and taking Inter four points clear at the top would go some way to leading Inter towards a first Scudetto in over a decade.
Achieve that and Lukaku – who is now joint-top Serie A goal scorer along with Cristiano Ronaldo this season – can put the harsh criticism behind him.