New Inter signing Lukaku backed to adjust to Serie A by ex-boss Villas-Boas

By Sports Desk August 08, 2019

New Inter signing Romelu Lukaku has the quality to adjust his game and conquer the defensive prowess in Serie A, according to his former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas.

Belgium striker Lukaku ended his two-year stay with Manchester United on Thursday by linking up with Antonio Conte's Nerazzurri in a club-record deal reported to be €80million.

The move ended a protracted saga that has dominated the rumour mill throughout much of the window, with United clearly keen to move him out of Old Trafford.

United beat Conte's Chelsea to Lukaku's signature from Everton in 2017 for a fee reported to be in the region of £75m.

He was first choice under Jose Mourinho and scored 16 Premier League goals in his debut campaign, but was often overlooked in favour of the more mobile Marcus Rashford once Ole Gunnar Solskjaer assumed the reins.

The move to Inter reflects another challenge for Lukaku to overcome, but Villas-Boas backed his former striker to impress in Serie A.

"He was an extremely powerful player. I was a little obsessed with my 4-3-3 in Chelsea. I positioned him on the wing and he was not very happy about it," Marseille boss Villas-Boas said. 

"At the end of the year he left on loan to West Brom and Everton and later signed for Manchester United. He became one of the greatest strikers in the world. 

"He had a great pace using the spaces. You may not have many spaces in Italy. Italians have great defensive skills. It may be a little difficult for him, but he has a great technical touch.

"His challenges in the air are amazing. I do not know how Conte will play and exploit the best of Lukaku.

"He's obviously a good player. He's a very good person, humble. I knew good times with him."

Related items

  • Anything can happen in El Clasico – former Real Madrid captain Hierro Anything can happen in El Clasico – former Real Madrid captain Hierro

    Anything can happen when Real Madrid host Barcelona in El Clasico on Sunday, according to Fernando Hierro. 

    Barca head into the clash at the Santiago Bernabeu top of LaLiga, having capitalised on Madrid drawing with Celta Vigo and losing to Levante in their previous two matches to go two points clear. 

    Following a 2-1 home loss in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Manchester City on Wednesday, Zinedine Zidane's side have won just one of their past five games in all competitions. 

    While the form book therefore suggests Barca have the upper hand, Hierro – a five-time LaLiga and three-time Champions League winner with Madrid – believes it is impossible to anticipate the outcome of any match between the clubs. 

    "The most important thing, given the rivalry, is the joy everyone feels: the club, the fans. And how it really gives you a boost. But anything can happen in El Clasico, as we've seen," said Hierro, courtesy of LaLiga. 

    "We lost when we were LaLiga champions, we lost at home when we virtually had LaLiga wrapped up, we've won in Barcelona when nobody expected us to. There are no guarantees in El Clasico. 

    "The standings don't matter; your form doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if you're top of the table, or if you're LaLiga champions. 

    "They're special games. Anything can happen, and that's fantastic." 

  • Liverpool announce £42m pre-tax profits despite record £223m spend on players Liverpool announce £42m pre-tax profits despite record £223m spend on players

    Liverpool have announced pre-tax profits of £42million for the financial period ending May 31, 2019, despite a club-record spend on players.

    The club's turnover increased by £78m to £533m thanks to rises in media, commercial and match revenue.

    A new Champions League broadcasting deal and the team's second-place finish in the Premier League under Jurgen Klopp last year also boosted profits.

    Their Champions League triumph in 2018-19 is expected to be included in the next set of financial results.

    The positive figures come despite a club-record £223m spend on the signings of Alisson, Naby Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri, as well as 11 new contracts for established first-team players.

    Liverpool, who became champions of Europe for the sixth time last June, are seventh in the Deloitte Football Money League, a rise of two places from the previous financial year.

    Andy Hughes, Liverpool's chief operating officer, said via the club's website: "This continued strengthening of the underlying financial sustainability of the club is enabling us to make significant investments both in player recruitment and infrastructure.

    "Being able to reinvest over £220m on players during this financial period is a result of a successful business strategy, particularly the significant uplift in commercial revenues.

    "The cost of football, however, does continue to rise in transfers and associated fees but what's critical for us is the consistency of our financial position, enabling us to live within our means and continue to run a sustainable football club."

    The club have also boasted of six million more social media engagements than any other Premier League club during the 2018-19 season, while they say investment in the new training base at Kirkby and further planned expansion of Anfield is testament to the support of owners Fenway Sport Group.

    "What we're seeing is sustained growth across all areas of the club, which is aligned to the recent performance on the pitch," said Hughes. "There is more work to do and, importantly, we will continue our dialogue with all key stakeholders, including local residents, businesses and community groups.

    "These financial results and this sustained period of solid growth is testament to our ownership, Fenway Sport Group, who continue to support the club's ambitions and continue to reinvest revenues both in strengthening the playing squad and the club's infrastructure to build for the future."

  • Premier League to launch hall of fame Premier League to launch hall of fame

    The Premier League has announced plans to launch a new hall of fame to recognise past stars of the competition.

    England's top flight will reveal the first inductees on March 19, when a shortlist of further nominees will be released, allowing fans the chance to vote for their preferred choices.

    In a statement, the Premier League said the hall of fame "will recognise and celebrate the exceptional skill and talent of players who have graced the competition since its inception in 1992".

    It added: "Membership of the Premier League Hall of Fame will be the highest individual honour awarded to players by the league."

    Only players who are retired will be eligible for a place in the hall of fame, while only their career in that division will be taken into account when assessing a candidate.

    Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: "Since 1992, the Premier League has been home to world-class players who have defined generations and provided us with compelling football season after season.

    "A place in the Premier League Hall of Fame is reserved for the very best. It will be an occasion for our fans around the world to look back over the years and help us celebrate some truly exceptional playing careers."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.