Inter striker Romelu Lukaku has explained how his 'mentor' Antonio Conte has played a major role in helping him realise his 'dream' in Italy.
The 27-year-old departed Manchester United in the summer of 2019 after growing frustrated with his lack of opportunities as an out-and-out striker under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Despite the fact he arrived with a very hefty price tag on his shoulders, Lukaku went on to enjoy an extremely impressive debut season in Italy with Inter - netting 34 times in 51 games in all competitions.
He has made an equally impressive start to this campaign as well, bagging three times in his first three games. Now away with the Belgium national side for their fixtures against the Ivory Coast, England and Iceland, Lukaku has once again explained how his boss Conte has helped get the best out of him.
“For me he is a mentor, a father, a person who understands me,” Lukaku said, as quoted by the Mirror, ahead of Sunday's Nations League tussle with England. "And I understand him too and I am grateful to him for the support he has always shown me.
"The first time he called me was six years ago when he wanted to buy me. For me, playing for him is really the realisation of a dream. You see his teams and you understand that you can, as an individual and as a collective, learn a lot and improve a lot.
“I feel I have grown a lot thanks to him and his staff but this is just the beginning. We have to improve and Conte is the coach to do it.”
Indeed, the former Man Utd man has always proven to be a natural goalscorer wherever he has been. But particularly Inter, with Conte building his attack around the Belgium international, Lukaku is continuing to flourish.
The striker has made no secret of his love for Italy, and has once again reiterated that it feels like home for him. He has explained how he has needed to adapt to the style of play in Italy, while also revealing that he often stays behind after sessions to best prepare for matches.
He continued: "I love being in Italy, it’s the best country I’ve ever been in. Italians welcomed me with open arms.
“Even the football has helped me improve. Italian football is much more tactical. I study how a defender plays, how he positions himself in a position or how he reacts in certain situations. After training I stay 15 to 20 minutes with the coaching staff so I am prepared for any situation.”