Antonio Conte explains the rare talents that Romelu Lukaku and Erling Haaland have in common

Antonio Conte believes Rom Lukaku is a player that can ‘hurt you fromanywhere’ and sees his characteristics in another prolific striker in Europe.

Conte managed Lukaku at Inter Milan as he guided the Italian giants to the Serie A title last season, before leaving the club in the summer amid a dispute with the club’s owners over finances. 

The 28-year-old target man already has four goals in all competitions since re-joining Chelsea last month, following a seven-year stint away from the club.

Also a former Chelsea boss, Conte believes Lukaku can play in a number of different roles and also revealed that he tried to sign the Belgium international during his tenure at Stamford Bridge. 

‘He is a very specific striker. Bringing Lukaku into the box, he is dangerous. However, when he starts from midfield, he is incredibly quick. It is very difficult to find a player who is both a target man, but can also run from midfield,’ Conte said.

These are also characteristics I can see in Erling Haaland. I had been tracking Lukaku for a very long time and wanted him when I was at Chelsea, even when he was at West Brom.

It’s a tactical situation too, a centre-forward who goes looking for the opposition defender, backs into him and lays it off for whoever is supporting him. That is a tactical approach used in basketball as well.

‘The good thing about Romelu is that he can hurt you anywhere. If you keep him far away from the penalty area, he can kill you with his pace. If you have him in the box, he has the physicality to be a target man.’

Lukaku once again leads the line against the Old Lady tonight as he hopes to add to his one Champions League goal so far this season, which came during the 1-0 win over Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg on match day one.

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