Romelu Lukaku’s return to sparkling form has given Inter Milan an extra weapon ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final decider with AC Milan.
Out for much of the season with injuries and with a damaged reputation following a disastrous World Cup, Lukaku has slowly worked his way back to his best.
The Belgium striker has scored five times and set up three more in his last six matches and his double in Saturday’s 4-2 win over Sassuolo highlighted his new-found confidence.
Lukaku celebrated his 30th birthday by beginning and ending the scoring at the San Siro, spinning and lashing home the opener from the edge of the box shortly before half-time and drilling in his eighth league goal of the season just before the end.
A striker in his sort of form should probably expect to be starting such a huge match on Tuesday, where Inter defend a 2-0 first leg lead in a bid to reach their first Champions League final since the last time they won it under Jose Mourinho 13 years ago.
However, it will likely be veteran Edin Dzeko who partners Lautaro Martinez up front for the second of two huge derbies with Milan, with Lukaku set to come on as an impact substitute.
“Of course, every player wants to start, but the coach has to make his choices for the team,” said Lukaku
“As I have always said, the most important thing is Inter and that’s why I give my all for the team.”
Inter CEO Beppe Marotta said on Saturday that there was a chance of loanee Lukaku staying at Inter next season but with parent club Chelsea yet to announce their new manager his future remains uncertain.