Jose Mourinho has made a brutal admission about Romelu Lukaku’s match fitness after landing the target man on a loan deal.
It has been a strange couple of years for Lukaku, who restored his name at Inter Milan before returning to Chelsea on a deal worth around £100million. The Belgian failed to continue his good form at Stamford Bridge, although he wasn’t given all that much opportunity, with the Blues moving on from Thomas Tuchel, and Lukaku found game time hard to come by.
He was then sent back to Inter Milan on loan, and he helped the Italians reach the Champions League final last season, although they ultimately came up short against Manchester City.
Upon returning to Chelsea, the striker was instantly transfer listed, with the Blues keen to get his wages off their books, while Mauricio Pochettino wanted a different profile of striker, something that was made clear by the signing of the pacey Nicolas Jackson.
Offers were few and far between, but former Chelsea boss Mourinho came to Lukaku’s rescue, with AS Roma snapping up the Belgian on a season-long loan deal, paying a reported £8million loan fee, although the final cost will depend on performance-related clauses.
Ahead of his move, Lukaku was not training with the Chelsea first-team, and he was required to train alone due to not being part of Pochettino’s plans. Naturally, he is not in a state of peak fitness as a result, and after confirming the transfer, Mourinho issued a pretty telling verdict on his new signing’s fitness.
“Lukaku’s last game was played with Belgium after the Champions League Final,” Mourinho told DAZN. “He did not work with the team, nor did he train with the ball. He is a professional, so he’s not in awful shape, but not great shape either.
“There aren’t many of us in the squad, perhaps he could give us a hand later on. I used Leandro Paredes the other day…”
Lukaku was on the bench for Roma’s clash with AC Milan on Friday night.