He is still a Chelsea player; Graham Potter opens up about the prospect of Lukaku coming back to Chelsea.
Lukaku has struggled for form and fitness this season, finding the net only three times in Serie A. Inter have confirmed they will not make Lukaku’s loan permanent, but Potter appears to be interested in taking him back at Stamford Bridge.
“Well, he’s still a Chelsea player and we’re monitoring him of course,” Potter told reporters on Friday. We understand where he’s at, he’s on loan, those decisions will be made in the summer. He’s a fantastic player, someone who we know and like.
“But again, we need to speak about that in the summer because he’s playing on loan for his club.”
Chelsea themselves are in need of a striker. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has struggled for minutes under Potter this season and is likely to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer, while signing another world-class striker will be an expensive investment.
“The loan was for one season so on June 30 regardless of how well he plays, he’ll go back to Chelsea,” admitted Inter’s chief executive Beppe Marotta earlier this month. “This has been an unprecedented season. I’m referring of course to the World Cup.
“The problems we’ve experienced have been experienced by other clubs too and the players who played at the World Cup… Lukaku hasn’t found the fitness he needs to play his best football. He’s still not at his best or the player we got to see in years gone by.”
Potter’s interest in reintegrating Lukaku may have stemmed from his performances for Belgium during March’s international break. He scored a hat-trick against Sweden in Stockholm and also found the net in the 3-2 win against Germany in Cologne.
There is no doubting Lukaku’s quality when he’s at his best. The forward has scored more than 100 Premier League goals after spells with West Brom, Everton, Man Utd and Chelsea. He was also prolific during his first spell at Inter, hitting 64 goals in two years.