sport news Watch out, Manchester United - Romelu Lukaku has got a point to prove for ...

sport news Watch out, Manchester United - Romelu Lukaku has got a point to prove for ...
sport news Watch out, Manchester United - Romelu Lukaku has got a point to prove for ...

Thomas Tuchel can expect a knock on his door between now and the weekend.

Romelu Lukaku will want to stress to his manager how eager he is to return to Chelsea's starting line-up when they take on his former club Manchester United this Sunday.

Though the Belgian is only just back to fitness following an ankle injury, he'd love little more than to score a goal or two against opponents not exactly in the rudest of health.

Things didn't work out well for Romelu Lukaku at Manchester United after a £75million move

Things didn't work out well for Romelu Lukaku at Manchester United after a £75million move

Lukaku did well initially under Jose Mourinho but things fell apart in his second campaign

Lukaku did well initially under Jose Mourinho but things fell apart in his second campaign

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn't really know how to best make use of Lukaku as he rebooted United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn't really know how to best make use of Lukaku as he rebooted United

It isn't as though Lukaku's exit from Old Trafford in 2019 was really bitter or acrimonious, just that he never truly fitted in there after United paid £75million to buy him, pulling out all the stops to convince him not to return to Chelsea.

Lukaku scored 27 goals during his first season at United and 15 in his second yet never got anywhere near his most prolific form under either Jose Mourinho or Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

There was disappointment all round at what might have been when Lukaku was sold to Inter Milan, with the player since admitting he was 'in a deep hole' at United.

Lukaku's confidence has been found again at Inter Milan and now Chelsea can reap rewards

Lukaku's confidence has been found again at Inter Milan and now Chelsea can reap rewards

Lukaku was among the substitutes as Chelsea beat Juventus as he returns to full fitness

Lukaku was among the substitutes as Chelsea beat Juventus as he returns to full fitness

Lukaku at Man United 

July 2017: Joined from Everton for initial £75million with potential £15m in add-ons, having beaten his old club Chelsea to the punch.

2017-2018

27 goals and 9 assists in 51 matches

2018-2019

15 goals and 4 assists in 45 matches

August 2019: Sold to Inter Milan for £67.5m

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What has happened since has confirmed that a change of surroundings was the right decision for Lukaku.

He was excellent during two seasons with Inter and rediscovered his lost confidence - scoring 64 times in 95 matches and helping deliver a first Scudetto since 2010.

It was enough to convince Chelsea to part with a club record £98m to bring him back to the Premier League in the summer as they built for a tilt at the title.

Lukaku started off brightly enough, with four goals in his first four games, and though that scoring rate slowed even before injury struck, there remains expectations of great things.

Having been an unused substitute in Chelsea's 4-0 win over Juventus on Tuesday night, Lukaku was spotted doing sprints post-match at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel wanted to keep his cards close to his chest but you can imagine he will get the nod at centre forward ahead of Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner or anyone else, fitness depending.

The fragility of United's defence of late proved a major factor in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's dismissal and a bulldozer of a striker like Lukaku can definitely profit even before you factor in the motivation of getting one over his old employer.

As weird as it is to say given the size of the club, Lukaku will reflect on his two years at United as a stepping stone to better things.

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