Inter Striker Romelu Lukaku: “Fighting For Serie A Title Is The Minimum For Us”

January 1, 2021 16:00
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Romelu Lukaku has warned his Inter team-mates they must perform more consistently if they are to become Serie A champions this season.

The Nerazzurri are one point behind league leaders AC Milan heading into the New Year after a run of seven straight wins.

However, Inter’s talisman and top-scorer believes there is still a lot of hard work to be done before they can dream of a first Scudetto in more than a decade.

“Given the way we’re playing at the moment, with ups and downs, we shouldn’t be talking about the title yet,” Lukaku said in a long interview with Belgian publication Sport Voetbalmagazine.

“Competing for the Scudetto is the minimum you can expect from us, but we won’t know until March if it’s doable; we need to go one game at a time.”

Antonio Conte fought hard to secure Lukaku’s signing from Manchester United last summer, having already tried to sign the Belgian international during his stint in charge of Chelsea.

The pair are known to have a close relationship and Lukaku explained how Conte has helped the striker develop his game since arriving in Italy.

“Conte told me: ‘If you become a great player with your back to goal you will be unstoppable’,” he said.

“He spoke to me during the 2014 World Cup before he left Juventus and then again when I was at Chelsea, with Eden Hazard translating for us on both occasions.

“Hazard gave my number to Chelsea’s sporting director Michael Emenalo and one day he called me to say: ‘Romelu, the coach we’re about to appoint wants you and only you.

“I went to London with no idea who the manager would be and I saw Conte; I should have known that it couldn’t have been anyone else.

“I knew we’d end up together one day.

“When Italy beat us in Euro 2016 I saw how he set up his team and I thought I would have been perfect in that side.

“During my first three months at Inter, all he did was make me train with my back to goal.

“He got Andrea Ranocchia to mark me from behind and told him to go hard on me.

“Every time I lost the ball we had to start the exercise again.”

Lukaku has scored 15 goals in all competitions this season, providing two assists.

The 27-year-old is expected to start up front alongside Lautaro Martinez for Sunday’s fixture at home to Crotone, Inter’s first match of 2021.

By Will Beckman

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