Rio Ferdinand says Romelu Lukaku has returned to the Premier League as “an animal” following his strong start to life back at Chelsea FC.
The Belgian forward sealed a big-money move back to the Stamford Bridge club from Inter Milan in the summer transfer window, with the Blues reported to have paid around £97m to bring him in from the Italian side.
Lukaku has wasted no time in having an impact at Stamford Bridge, with the 28-year-old having already scored three goals in five Premier League outings for the Blues. He also netted in their Champions League opener earlier in the month.
The forward moved to Inter Milan in the summer of 2019 after he was deemed to be surplus to requirements at Manchester United by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Lukaku enjoyed an impressive stint in Italy and he netted 24 goals and made 11 assists last season in Serie A to help Inter to win the title.
Ferdinand feels that the timing for Lukaku at Old Trafford wasn’t quite right – and he thinks it’s clear that he has moved up a gear since his exit from Manchester United.
Speaking to BT Sport, as quoted by the Daily Express, Ferdinand said: “Sometimes it’s about the club fitting the player and the player fitting that club at the right time.
I think the timing wasn’t right for him at Man United. The stability they have now wasn’t there when he was there.
If it was now it would be very different – I think he’d be doing what he’s doing here [at Chelsea FC].
“He went away under a cloud at Man United and has come back an animal and someone you can count on to win you trophies.”
Lukaku was unable to find the net as Chelsea FC suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season on Saturday with a 1-0 loss to Manchester City.
Speaking after the game, Blues boss Thomas Tuchel admitted that he was not confident in his side’s ability to attack with long balls.
It’s about making opponents underperform,” said Tuchel.
“City did this to us, they had high ball wins. We talked about the high pressing but with our decision-making I never felt fully confident we would escape the pressure with short passes.
I never felt fully confident when we decided to go for long balls.
“We have Romelu upfront who we can put long balls into, but without that genuine belief and confidence,
and also without the moments where you really hurt your opponent, it gets more and more difficult, and this is how the game went on Saturday.”