Jose Mourinho admits Romelu Lukaku was ‘hurt’ by Manchester United criticism and reveals how Inter Milan have got the best out of Belgium striker

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Jose Mourinho admits Romelu Lukaku was 'hurt' by Manchester United criticism and reveals how Inter Milan have got the best out of Belgium striker


Romelu Lukaku would get hurt by the criticism he received at Manchester United, according to Jose Mourinho.

Belgium striker Lukaku was often a focal point of United fans’ frustrations during his time at the club, despite having a good goal record.

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Mourinho signed Lukaku from Everton in 2017

Mourinho, who joined talkSPORT Breakfast for an hour on Friday morning, was the man to bring the big Belgian to Old Trafford in 2017.

Lukaku scored 42 goals in just two seasons at the club, before being sold to Inter Milan.

In Serie A, he has taken his game to another level and has hit the back of the net 64 times since joining in 2019.

He helped them win the Serie A title this season and Mourinho believes he knows why he is reached these heights in Italy.

Lukaku scored 25 Serie A goals. in their title winning season

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Lukaku scored 25 Serie A goals. in their title winning season

“Amazing [season], I would say he fulfilled his qualities now,” Mourinho told talkSPORT when asked about Lukaku.

“I believed he got in Inter something that he needs. He needs to feel he’s the man and he’s the number one and loved.

“He was loved by the coach and supporters and make a big impact. The press also supporting him. He got that love.

“Romelu is the type of guy even scoring goals in England… was not the right profile of Manchester United. That hurts. If he doesn’t score goals what he does for the team is not enough. It hurts him. 

“Then another one, he doesn’t have enough quality to hold the ball. He’s not [Eric] Cantona, he’s not [Dimitar] Berbatov. Of course he’s not Cantona or Berbatov. He is Lukaku.

“In Italy, they use him that way. You know the way Conte likes to play, five in the back, three midfielders always in position, Lukaku and Lautaro [Martinez] in attack.

“Lautaro allowed to drop and Lukaku to attack spaces. It just killed opponents.

“He was not the top scorer [in Serie A this season] because Cristiano [Ronaldo] was the first, but Lukaku scored a lot of goals. He’s got a lot of passion and connected with the supporters.”

Lukaku has been linked with a return to the Premier League, but insists he is happy at Inter

Getty

Lukaku has been linked with a return to the Premier League, but insists he is happy at Inter

Mourinho, who will take over at Roma next season, also spoke about the Italian fans and the intensity they bring.

The former Inter boss said: added: “In Italy they are very passionate, much more than here. In Italy, you feel they hate you every minute and feel they love you every minute. It felt like the Inter fans loved him every minute.

“You go out for a coffee and you feel that. You got to put gasoline in your car and you feel that.

“This brought the best out of Romelu.”

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