Romelu Lukaku joins Roma on loan from Chelsea

Romelu Lukaku has joined Roma on loan from Chelsea to become their new main centre-forward.

Lukaku will spend the 2023-24 season at Roma, for whom he will wear the number 90 shirt.

There is no official option to buy Lukaku contained in the loan deal, but he will be aiming to live up to his reputation over the coming months regardless.

He told the club’s official website: “The welcome I’ve received from this club and its fans has excited me and given me even more motivation to give my all for my new team. As an opponent, I felt the atmosphere of the Stadio Olimpico, and felt the warmth of the Romanisti.

“It’s nice to know I’m a part of it today. I recently got the opportunity to speak with the owners, and I was impressed by their ambition. Now we must work, be humble, and grow game by game. For my part, I can’t wait to be available to my teammates both on and off the pitch.”

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Last season, Lukaku was on loan at Inter after his previous spell there in which he established himself as one of Serie A’s most prominent strikers. In his original stint there, he became a Scudetto winner in 2021.

Earlier in his career, the Belgian centre-forward worked with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea briefly and more substantially at Manchester United, where he was also a teammate of Chris Smalling.

Now, he will be the focal point of Roma’s attack, competing for a place at centre-forward with fellow loan signing Sardar Azmoun and existing option Andrea Belotti.

Finding a main striker has been an ordeal for Roma this summer, ever since Tammy Abraham suffered an injury. They were previously linked frequently with Gianluca Scamacca and Alvaro Morata, but neither deal came off. More recently, it looked like they would be taking Duvan Zapata from Atalanta.

That deal also fell through, though, and when Chelsea opened up to the idea of loaning Lukaku out again – and the player accepted a reduction in salary – the door opened for Roma to get their man, who would have been beyond their dreams otherwise.

Reports have recently claimed that Chelsea have written a release clause into Lukaku’s contract for after his loan spell expires, which might make signing him on a permanent basis viable, but for now, the focus will be on him getting up to speed to help Roma in the here and now.

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