Romelu Lukaku was ‘unfairly’ blamed for Manchester United’s misfortunes during his time with the Premier League club, says Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez.
Lukaku signed for United from Everton in 2017 for a reported fee of £75million but failed to secure any silverware during his two-year stay at Old Trafford. The Belgian netted 42 goals in 96 appearances for the Red Devils but he was not a regular starter under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The 27-year-old left United last year for a reported fee of £74 million and signed for Italian side Inter Milan.
My relationship with Romelu was from a young player when he came to Everton on loan,” Martinez told Thursday’s Breakfast.
“Then we made a massive effort to get him on a permanent basis and he was the transfer record at that time.”
“You can see the player going through phases, good moments, bad moments, but what we’ve seen with Romelu is he’s never lost his outstanding quality which is scoring goals. Now we’ve seen a real maturity in his play.”
“The time he had at Manchester United, he was so desperate to win trophies and he took a lot of responsibility on his shoulders and probably took a lot of blame, in my eyes, very unfairly. But going to Italy, he’s in the middle of a new project, he’s taken that responsibility and those difficulties he had in England in a good way.
“The player we have now is a player in the best maturity moment of his career.”
In his debut season for the Italian side, Lukaku netted 34 goals and Martinez says he is happy with his progress.