- Lukaku on season-long loan at Roma
- Scores first goal for club in Empoli win
- Mourinho explains what striker needs to thrive
WHAT HAPPENED? Lukaku joined Roma on a season-long loan from Chelsea in late August, with his former manager at Manchester United and the Blues reportedly sealing the deal with a convincing phone call. The Belgian has struggled for consistency over the past two seasons, but Mourinho explained how to get the best out of him following his goal in Roma's 7-0 rout of Empoli on Sunday. He also quipped Inter Milan have "no reason to be angry" at Lukaku because they have a wealth of attacking options, despite the fact the striker snubbing the chance to join Simone Inzaghi's team on a permanent deal in ignominious fashion.
WHAT THEY SAID: Mourinho told DAZN: “I found him happy, Romelu needs to be happy, to feel loved and wanted. He arrived here and immediately felt that the team needed a player like him. I think he's really happy, he obviously likes to win and that's his nature. At Inter they have no reason to be angry because they won a derby 5-1 and have an extraordinary team, with many attackers. They must be happy for their former coach who needed Romelu."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ever since Lukaku's £98 million ($121m) move to Chelsea from Inter Milan in August 2021, the 6ft 3in forward has drawn criticism for his inconsistent displays in the final third. The 30-year-old only scored 15 times for Chelsea in 2021-22 and 14 times for Inter on loan last term. If Mourinho can get the best out of Lukaku - and he can stay fit - he could be a force on the elite stage once more.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
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WHAT NEXT? Roma kickstart their Europa League campaign on Thursday against Moldovan side Sheriff, with Lukaku in line to lead the attack once again.