Lukaku was benched for several games by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last January and February. But while he returned as a starter and scored braces against Crystal Palace, Southampton and Paris Saint-Germain, he failed to score after that and it seems his mind to leave was already made up.
Following a drawn out transfer saga, he eventually joined Inter in late August.
“I think I had to rediscover myself. Last year was difficult for me on the professional side, because stuff was not going how I wanted and I was not performing as well,” Lukaku told Sky Sports.
“So I had to find it within myself what was lacking and came to the conclusion that it was time for me to change environment. I made my decision around March, and I went to the manager's office and told him it was time for me to find something else.
“I wasn't performing and I wasn't playing. I think it was better for both sides to go separate ways. I think I made the right decision. Manchester United has made space for the younger players to come through so I think it was a win-win situation for both of us.”
Lukaku has been back to something like his best since moving to Italy. His 18 goals for Inter in just over half a season has already eclipsed his tally in the whole of 2018/19 and the 26-year-old could well finish a campaign with 30 goals to his name for the first time in his career.
His career at Old Trafford remains a case of what might have been had circumstances been better. The same can be said of former manager José Mourinho’s time at the club, with Lukaku of the belief that the Portuguese could have achieved a lot more with the right squad.
Instead, Mourinho saw his relationship with the United board sour over recruitment, or a lack thereof, and was ultimately sacked halfway through his third season after disastrous results.
“If he would have had the players that he wanted, he would have done better than what we did,” Lukaku reflected on his former boss.