Chelsea isn’t at fault for Romelu Lukaku’s failed record transfer

Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)
Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images) /

When Romelu Lukaku returned to Stamford Bridge last summer in a £97.5 million transfer from Inter Milan, it seemed like the storybook climax in an incredible career. Chelsea’s lost striker had found his way back to SW6 after all these years. In a tale of rags to riches, Lukaku would now be the centerpiece of his boyhood club. He would help the Blues reach the highest heights in both domestic and continental club football after being told he wasn’t good enough years before. If we as fans have learned anything in our adult lives though, it’s that if something sounds too good to be true, there’s a good chance it’s not sustainable.

Lukaku came out of the gate firing in his second debut, finding the back of the net after just a quarter of an hour against Arsenal. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. The infamous interview had a ripple effect in the dressing room and now, just months later, Lukaku is back in Serie A. He completed his highly anticipated return to Inter Milan—on a one-year loan—on Wednesday. This saga marks the ending one of the most disastrous, brief transfers of all-time. Luckily, Chelsea cannot be allowed to kick itself over the colossal failure.

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Chelsea cannot blame itself over the Romelu Lukaku transfer failure

The Blues aren’t to blame for the record signing failing to meet expectations in west London. While it’s true that manager Thomas Tuchel and Lukaku didn’t exactly see eye-to-eye when it came to tactics, this is nothing new in the world of football. The fact of the matter is the German coach and the rest of the Chelsea squad deserved some respect, something Lukaku displayed very little interest in giving them. Instead, he wanted the club to kiss the ground he walked on—as Inter Milan had previously—as if he didn’t join the reigning Champions League winners.

Lukaku believed that as long as he spoke out and threw a temper tantrum, he would get his way. The unfortunate truth is that, in the days of old, this would be the case. If the previous regime was still in charge, it’d likely be Tuchel’s head on the chopping block this summer, not the club’s record transfer. That’s not how Todd Boehly operates though. It must be very hard for the Belgian to accept that Chelsea existed before him, and it’ll sure as hell thrive after. The Blues may be going through a bit of a rebuild right now due to the sanctions put in place over the spring, but they’ve got the pieces in place elsewhere to thrive going forward.

It was obvious from the interview incident onward that Lukaku’s heart was never in this move. In fact, he revealed when he returned to Italy this week that he has been talking to Inter Milan manager Simone Inzaghi all season long. This behavior and many of the comments he made throughout the year clear Chelsea of any wrongdoing throughout this process. The club’s only mistake in this process was believing that Lukaku was mature enough to deserve this move.

The 29-year-old got the benefit of the doubt from many of the supporters throughout the year. However, it must be said that his actions during the year were borderline despicable. The Blues backed up the Brinks truck and rolled out the red carpet to get Lukaku to Stamford Bridge. What did he do in return? Constantly complain about missing his ex until he did irreparable damage to get his way. Chelsea tried to make it work, it learned the hard way though that one cannot force a child to change his ways. It goes without saying that Lukaku is solely to blame for the break-up.

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