'Lazy and predictable' Lukaku SLAMMED by Italian legend

Peter Staunton
  • Updated: 17 Feb 2024 11:12 GMT
  • 2 min read
Romelu Lukaku Roma Chelsea

Romelu Lukaku is “predictable and lazy”, according to one high-profile Italian pundit, who has criticised the Chelsea loanee for changing his game and, in the process, “ruining himself”.

The 30-year-old completed a one-season loan move to Roma last summer, who were then coached by his former Chelsea and Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho, and he initially made a strong start to life at the Stadio Olimpico.

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He netted five goals in his first six Serie A games and has been a regular goalscorer in the Europa League as well.

But the wheels came off from Mourinho and Roma following a heavy 3-1 defeat at AC Milan in January, which left the club adrift of the European places in ninth.

Lukaku lost his goalscoring touch

Mourinho was sacked and Lukaku has yet to rediscover his goalscoring touch in the Italian top flight.

The former Everton star has only scored one league goal since December 23 and has now come in for severe criticism from Angelo di Livio, a Champions League winner during his Juventus playing days.

Speaking to TVPlay, the 57-year-old ex-midfielder said: “Lukaku had other characteristics in recent seasons. He was very strong going deep, you never caught him, while now he is changing his game. He comes short, only plays with his back to goal and plays one-twos, but he is ruining himself because he is predictable and lazy.

“Before he was a force of nature, with [Antonio] Conte he was at the top. I wouldn't want him to be training to only play this game with his back to goal, because a good striker must know how to play one-twos and then attack deep, strongly."

Lukaku won a Serie A title in 2020-21 under Antonio Conte at Inter before his high-profile move to Chelsea for a fee of around €113 million. It didn’t work out for the Belgian at Stamford Bridge and he returned to San Siro for a loan spell last season.

He reached the Champions League final, where Inter were beaten by Manchester City, but at the end of the loan it again looked like he had no future at Chelsea.

Roma came calling with the offer of a year in Serie A, with a permanent fee of around €40m fixed should the Giallorossi seek to sign him at the end of the season.

There have been no indications thus far that Roma would look to take Lukaku on a permanent basis however and he remains under contract with Chelsea until 2026.

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