Romelu Lukaku has pinpointed the moment he knew his time at Manchester United was up.
The 26-year-old Belgian marksman ended a two-year stay at Old Trafford this summer when he moved to Inter Milan.
Lukaku’s time at Man Utd: Five key things to know…
- Lukaku joined Man Utd from Everton for a reported £75m in 2017.
- He’d reunite with former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
- Lukaku would go on to register 42 goals across 96 matches.
- The arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in December 2018 changed everything.
- Lukaku has since revealed being played out wide convinced him to look for another club.
After joining from Everton for a reported £75m fee, the Antwerp-born centre-forward would go on to register 42 goals across 96 appearances.
Lukaku initially began well under Jose Mourinho, whom he previously crossed paths with at Chelsea, but the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in December 2018 would change everything.
He was no longer guaranteed a regular starting berth, with Solskjaer preferring to deploy nimble forwards such as Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, often leaving Belgium’s all-time top scorer to do a job from the flanks.
It was this newfound responsibility being entrusted on him that convinced Lukaku to look for pastures new, but that didn’t mean he saw Solskjaer as a villain, instead his respect for Man Utd’s incumbent boss couldn’t be any higher.
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.
“It was after the game against West Ham at home, Solskjaer decided to put me on the right wing, very wide,” he told Corriere dello Sport.
“The experience in Manchester made me head stronger because not everything went as I had expected. I didn’t win what I was hoping for, my performance was not entirely positive and I didn’t even feel 100 per cent wanted. Not so much from the technical staff or from my teammates, but from the people around.
“So after the match against Chelsea, on April 28, the coach called me for a meeting and I told him what I thought and that I wanted to leave. He read in my face that I didn’t want to stay any longer and he replied that he didn’t want to hold anyone against it.
“He understood my point of view and assured me that he would do everything possible to satisfy me. He earned my respect and, until I left Manchester, there was no problem with him. Even the management helped me. I also spoke with Ed Woodward and Matt Judge and everyone understood why I wanted to leave.
“It was a frank and honest conversation. There was no war, but the decision was shared. This is why the leaders of United and Solskjaer will have my eternal respect.”