No Lukaku, no problem

Carlo Garganese

There were serious fears for Inter this season when they were forced to sell star man Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea in the summer.

The financial problems of Inter’s parent company Suning meant that they had to significantly cut costs ahead of the new campaign.

Achraf Hakimi was sacrificed to PSG for €70 million before Lukaku was moved on to Chelsea for €115m.

Lukaku instantly impressed upon his return to Stamford Bridge, scoring four goals by the middle of September in all competitions.

But at Inter, the giant Belgian has barely been missed at all.

The Nerazzurri are unbeaten in Serie A with five wins and two draws from their seven matches.

And they have scored a whopping 22 goals in these matches, averaging 3.14 goals per game.

This is six goals more than the next highest scorers in the division in league leaders Napoli.

How many goals has Dzeko scored at Inter?

Lukaku’s direct replacement Edin Dzeko has had a sensational start to life at San Siro, despite his advanced 35 years of age.

The veteran Bosnian has already scored six goals, including a vital equaliser just moments after coming on in the 2-1 comeback victory at Sassuolo on Saturday.

Dzeko is averaging a goal every 87 minutes in Serie A and has also provided an assist.

The ex-Roma, Manchester City and Wolfsburg striker has already formed a superb partnership with Lautaro Martinez, who has five goals in six games himself.

The Lukaku-Lautaro pairing was telepathic at times during their two seasons together at San Siro, but Dzeko-Lautaro is already looking just as impressive.

The only area where Dzeko, Lautaro and Inter in general need to improve in fast is in the Champions League.

They have picked up just one point from their first two group games, having missed a host of chances in the 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid and 0-0 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk.

But, all in all, Inter have barely been affected by the absence of Lukaku – with Dzeko showing he is still a top-class striker in his own right.