Opinion: Why Romelu Lukaku's move from United to Inter is beneficial for both clubs
When Inter Milan announced the signing of Romelu Lukaku on deadline day of the Premier League transfer window, Manchester United fans began to question the logic behind the move. It was virtually apparent that the Belgian striker would leave Old Trafford this season. However, many couldn't understand how United decided to let go of him without signing a replacement.
Lukaku left Man United after two seasons, where he scored 42 goals in 96 appearances. In his first season, he helped them finish 2nd in the league, by scoring 16 goals. However, things turned to the worse in his second season, as he was subjected to continuous criticism for not being clinical. Thus, the 26-year-old decided that a move away from the English Premier League would be better for him and Antonio Conte's Inter showed immediate interest.
The only obstacle that lay in Inter Milan's path to sign Lukaku was the Red Devils' plan to negotiate a player-swap deal with Juventus to sign Paulo Dybala. But that move failed, much to the joy of the Nerazzurri.
Upon his departure, many Man United fans believe that they received the short end of the stick as they were left with no immediate replacement. However, Lukaku's exit could be beneficial for both clubs because of the following reasons:
A solution to the Icardi drama
Inter Milan desperately needed a world-class striker after the club's relationship with their star striker Mauro Icardi worsened last season. Icardi's off-pitch issues saw him stripped of his captaincy and soon saw himself out of ex-manager Luciano Spalleti's starting eleven. Despite the club's repeated efforts to sort out the dispute, they failed to reach a satisfactory solution.
Thus, the Nerazzurri had to find a striker who had a similar appetite to goal-scoring as the Argentine. New manager Conte has always been a fan of Lukaku and was disappointed to miss out on signing him during his tenure at Chelsea. The Italian tactician has now acquired his long-term target and will look to restore the Belgian's confidence.
Thus the club can now focus on the matters that require attention. With Icardi receiving offers from several clubs in the Serie A, his days at Inter could be numbered.
A more enterprising attack for the Red Devils
Marcus Rashford has been Manchester United's top-performer since his debut in 2015. The 21-year-old has scored 47 goals and has made over 100 appearances at such a young age. Lukaku's arrival in 2017 resulted in him taking up a more extended role, and thus, had lesser opportunities to score. On the contrary, the Englishman can now play as a second striker alongside Anthony Martial, or as a goal-scoring winger.
Rashford and Martial have scored two goals in United's first two games of the new season. Manager Ole Gunnar Solkjaer will hope to see them display more maturity, and lead the offense. Martial, is yet to fully convince observers of his credential of being United's main striker and has squandered opportunities at times.
But Manchester United has a rich history of young forwards taking up pivotal roles. Further, the addition of Daniel James adds more pace to the team. It will be interesting to see how the strike partnership between Anthony Martial and Rashford unfolds.
Manchester United will be facing Crystal Palace at home and will look to get back to winning ways after their draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers. Martial and Rashford are expected to continue playing pivotal roles at the forefront of the attack.
Inter Milan, on the other hand, will be starting their Serie A campaign against newly-promoted side U.S. Leece. Lukaku will be hoping to create an immediate impact by scoring a goal or two. The Belgian's move to Inter is a positive one, and he will be aiming at starting all over at a club that is hungry for trophies and put behind any bitterness about his past.