Romelu Lukaku has been heralded by the man who gave him his debut in professional football after picking up another award in his native Belgium yesterday.
Lukaku was nominated as the ‘Best Belgian Player Playing Abroad’ in 2020 by Belgian publication HLN, following a spectacular first season at Inter after his move from Manchester United.
Ariel Jacobs handed Lukaku his debut at Anderlecht just a week after his 16th birthday and has sung his former protege’s praises after the award was announced.
“Your nickname was ‘the little one’ but now you have become very big; you are a great footballer, but also a great person,” Jacobs remarked in an interview with HLN.be.
Lukaku joined Inter in the summer of 2019 in a club record transfer deal Premier League giants United and has been absolutely prolific for Antonio Conte’s side in the time since.
The 27-year-old, who is contracted to the club until the end of the 2023-24 season, has scored at a rate few strikers in Europe’s top five leagues have been able to keep up, with 51 goals in 73 appearances in all competitions for the Nerazzurri.
Lukaku, who has also had spells at Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion and Everton, was again decisive for Inter on Wednesday when he scored an extra-time winner to take them past Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia.