Lukaku signs for AS Roma: What Mourinho’s new signing means for the Giallorossi

Romelu Lukaku has arrived at AS Roma to a lot of fanfare, and this 2023/24 season is a significant one for him. How much of a difference can he make to Jose Mourinho's Giallorossi?

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AS Roma have been one of the busier teams in the 2023 summer transfer window but a top striker was one thing that appeared to have eluded them. Now, though, the Giallorossi have secured a loan deal and signed Chelsea‘s Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku has been one of the hot topics of the window, having been linked with several of Europe’s top teams like Inter, Bayern Munich, Tottenham, AC Milan, and even Juventus. Yet, it has taken until the end of August and the final days of the summer transfer window for a move to materialise.

Romelu Lukaku signs for AS Roma. (Photo: AS Roma)

It seems to have been worth the wait though for the Giallorossi, as with Tammy Abraham sidelined for the foreseeable, Roma have got a highly-experienced Serie A striker who could potentially do a superb job.

At 30 years old, this 2023/24 season is a huge one for Lukaku. After an injury-hit campaign with Inter last season, and with seemingly no future at Chelsea, he will have a point to prove during this loan spell. 

Romelu Lukaku reunites with Jose Mourinho at Roma

Inter’s Romelu Lukaku celebrates. [@Inter_en]

Mourinho and Lukaku have spent plenty of time working with each other since the Belgian striker moved to Chelsea as a 20-year-old. Following spells for Lukaku at West Bromwich Albion and Everton, the pair met again at Manchester United, after Mourinho spent โ‚ฌ84.7 million to sign a player he described at the time as: “a big player who is now a top player [compared to his time at Chelsea].”

Whilst reports suggested that they held bad blood after their first separation, both spoke endlessly about their impact and meaning to each other during their time at Old Trafford. Lukaku even went as far as to say he would “run through walls” for the Portuguese coach. 

That trait, amongst others, will be why Mourinho has moved to bring the Belgian to Rome. He has always been intent on having players with that very mentality and with his Roma side lacking some depth and quality in the attacking department, he is going to need players who will put their body on the line for him.

Romelu Lukaku during his presentation as an AS Roma player. (@ASRomaEN)

In addition to this, the 30-year-old offers the perfect profile to play in a two-striker formation, something that the Giallorossi will be looking to do this season, based on their opening two fixtures against Salernitana and Hellas Verona in which they played a 3-5-2 formation.

Looking at Lukaku’s time with the Nerazzurri, he often played alongside Lautaro Martinez and built one of the most deadly partnerships in Europe.

Though Andrea Belotti impressed in the opening game against the Granata, Lukaku seems the obvious choice now to be Roma’s main striker, at least for the time being. 

On the whole, it is an impressive coup for the Giallorossi and very much a statement signing. La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that the club are spending โ‚ฌ8-9m on the loan, which will hinder any potential further business in 2023. However, with Lukaku through the door, Roma’s chances of Champions League football should have increased.

AS Roma fans break flight tracker record

It is not unknown for fanbases track flights for players, but Roma fans took it to a new level.

As reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport, using the Flightradar24 website, over 47,000 people tracked Lukaku’s flight from Luton Airport to Brussels where the Belgian stopped before carrying on to Ciampino airport. The next highest-tracked flight of the day had a mere 2,300 viewers. 

Upon Lukaku‘s arrival at Ciampino airport, the 30-year-old was greeted by around 4,000 Roma supporters, who awaited a glimpse of their new signing and the owner of their club, Dan Friedkin, who actually piloted the plane that took Lukaku to Rome. 

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