Legendary former Inter striker Alessandro Altobelli does not believe it is currently likely that Romelu Lukaku will return to the Nerazzurri.
Speaking to Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview published in today’s print edition, Altobelli gave the view that the conditions are not currently there for the Belgian striker to move back to Inter, especially being that CEO Beppe Marotta would have reservations about bringing him him back.
Lukaku stated in a recent interview broadcast by Sky Sport Italia that he feels regrets about his decision to leave Inter in the summer to join Chelsea.
The 28-year-old still feels a connection to the Nerazzurri and stated that he would like to return to the club and continue to win trophies together before his career is over.
At the moment, however, making the move back to Inter looks as though it would be complicated for the Belgian, and Altobelli believes that there are factors that would make it difficult for him to fit right back in.
“Had I been Lukaku, I would never have left the club that adored him, and where he felt at home,” he said.
“He was the king of Milan and San Siro,” Altobelli added. “If he had asked for something more, they would probably have given it to him. So today he finds himself earning more money.”
“But it’s been a big disappointment so far,” he added.
“How would the fans react?” Altobelli posed about a return to Inter. “I think some of them would boo him at first, but if he went back to performing as he did before, everyone would forgive him. I must emphasize that I don’t think he’s done anything that he needs to be forgiven for.”
On the possibility of a return to Inter for the Belgian, however, he said that “They will never re-sign him. And I would not do so either.”
“Inter cannot spend, and there is no way that Chelsea would do something as absurd as loan him out,” he added. “Marotta has not made any mistakes thus far. I think he only plans to make small adjustments to the team.”
“For context, I think it is important that we rewind to last summer,” he stated. “Lukaku accomplished something great with Inter, but Inter also helped Lukaku a lot in becoming a great player.”
“But we have to be honest, if the club hadn’t sold Romelu for a huge fee they would have been forced to sell five players, destabilizing the entire project,” he continued.
“So complete respect for him, Altobellie added. “He was not a traitor, in the end he did Inter a favour and it was a deal which benefited both. Even if I can’t quite wrap my head around his departure.”
“Lukaku has just arrived in the Premier League, at the club he had supported since he was a child, who chased him and paid a big fee for him,” Altobelli explained.
“Now, at the first sign of difficulty, he has made statements that benefit neither Chelsea not Inter. I’m not surprised that Tuchel is angry,” he went on.
On whether a return by Lukaku to Inter would be beneficial for the club, he gave the view that “No. He had his day in Milan, he perhaps contributed something even beyond himself.”
“But today we see a different Inter who are playing beautiful football and getting results, everyone is getting on the scoresheet,” he continued.
“Of course, they haven’t won anything yet, but they’re on the right track,” Altobelli stated, “and so I think Lukaku should concentrate on working hard to turn things around at Chelsea.”
On the possibility of a Lukaku return to play alongside Edin Dzeko, he said that “Of course they could coexist, but I would not disturb the balance that Inzaghi has been able to create.”
“Sometimes a huge player can come in and upset the apple cart,” he reflected. “This is the position for Inter.”
On the question of whether Lukaku is a world-class footballer, Altobelli suggested that “The idea of a ‘world-class player’ is overused.”
“For me, a world-class footballer is one who makes the difference not only in the league, but also in the European trophies, and with the national team,” he continued.
He added that “Lukaku has certainly done what he can with Belgium, but his struggles in the Premier League show that he’s still missing something.”