Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola wouldn’t sign Chelsea’s newest recruit Romelu Lukaku ‘in a million years’, according to Gary Neville.
The Belgian striker, who scored 30 goals in 44 games in all competitions for Inter Milan last season, has completed a £97.5 million move to Stamford Bridge this week.
He pens a £200,000-a-week deal with his former club, according to Sky Sports, who claim Lukaku will also sign a five-year contract with Thomas Tuchel’s side as they prepare to defend their Champions League crown in the coming months.
Romelu Lukaku has just landed at Biggin Hill airport some minutes ago. This video is real and confirmed, Romelu is now in London to complete his move to Chelsea. 🔵🛬 #CFC
🎥👇🏻 [chelseapulse] pic.twitter.com/ZkofTTrT3y
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 11, 2021
Lukaku has, of course, spent the majority of his career in the Premier League with Chelsea, West Brom, Everton and Manchester United. In that time, he scored plenty of goals, including 42 goals in 96 appearances at Old Trafford during a mixed two-year spell.
But former United full-back Neville believes Liverpool and Manchester City wouldn’t bring the 28-year-old forward to their respected club because of his style of play.
“Jurgen Klopp wouldn’t sign Lukaku in a million years. Neither would probably Pep Guardiola but Chelsea are the club that have had that type of striker,” Neville said on The Overlap podcast.
“A Costa, a Drogba, a single point striker, that physical presence that wants to carry that line. They’ve had that in their armoury for 20 years. It suits Chelsea Football Club. He wouldn’t press from the front so he’d never suit Jurgen Klopp.
“He would never suit Old Trafford. The fans up there need a personality upfront. Cavani suits Old Trafford. I know he’s probably past his best years but he works a lot harder than Lukaku off the ball.
“I’m not saying he’s better – Lukaku will score 25 goals for Chelsea but he doesn’t suit United. He wouldn’t suit Liverpool.
“I think certain players suit certain clubs,’ Neville added. ‘It was never going to work out there (at United). It just wasn’t right. Maybe the time’s not right, maybe the manager’s not right, maybe the feeling’s not right.
“Some players you look at them in the shirt and you just go “no”. Inter Milan, it works.’
Jamie Carragher, meanwhile, believes Lukaku still has something to prove as he prepares for another season in the Premier League.
“There’s something about Lukaku though, even though his goal record is amazing each season, when we talk about a Lewandowski or a Harry Kane or other strikers, there’s never a question about them,” Carragher said.
“But with Lukaku there seems to be that slight ‘but’ to me. Just something that he still has to prove.
“It’s not like he’s got a lot of honours in his career or been that man who’s taken someone to something like he did last season with Inter Milan. He was at Man United, a huge signing, but he never got across the line.”
Neville then hit back, saying: “I’ve got no doubts about Lukaku. I have no buts. I’ve got buts for him at United at certain clubs under certain systems and what you expect.
“What does United expect from a striker? What does Chelsea expect from one? They are different expectations.”
|Image credit: Sky Bet/YouTube|
Neville’s former teammates and fellow Sky Sports pundit, Roy Keane, then gave his thoughts on Lukaku.
“The timing for a player is huge, the club and Man United were maybe at the wrong time. Because there was no doubt he was a brilliant player. His stats will tell you that, even going back to his time at Everton.
“Sometimes, a brilliant player will come to your club and it’s just not the right fit. The chemistry’s not right, maybe it’s the coach or manager. He might have a few injuries.
“Lukaku went off to Inter Milan, don’t tell me you were surprised that he scored so many goals? Obviously, he worked on his diet but he matured himself, going to another country.
“So when you think of him coming back, he’s guaranteed goals. Chelsea, the way they’re playing, the sharpness, the quality they will have on the ball, it guarantees you 20 goals.”
😬 Jorginho was Chelsea’s top scorer in the Premier League last season and all seven of his goals were penalties
😎 Romelu Lukaku had seven goals after his first six starts of the 2020/21 Serie A campaign… pic.twitter.com/4nWvLUIVDu
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) August 7, 2021
Thoughts on Chelsea signing Lukaku this summer? Is he the right to lead them to a title charge in the coming months?
Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: PA