There are only a few hours left until the Europa League final starts. A final for Sevilla and Inter Milan in which much of the media focus will focus on Lukaku. One of the fashionable strikers at this time in European football; who in his day was about to be Diego Costa’s replacement at Atletico Madrid.
The Belgian forward has had some extraordinary performances in the last three matches of the competition. Four goals in three games, leaving behind some spectacular goals against Shakhtar or Getafe. So many in which he gave a good example of his power, strength, claw, and speed. After his goal against Shakhtar, he broke the record of being the first player to score in ten straight games in the European competition.
So while half of Europe is delighted with his plays and Lopetegui and his players prepare a plan to stop him. More than one will take their heads when remembering that Lukaku in 2014 was about to be the substitute for Diego Costa at the tip of Atletico Madrid’s attack.
Best Season for Atletico
Atletico Madrid had just experienced its best season in history. League champions and Champions League runners-up in a campaign in which Cholo Simeone’s pupils surprised all of Europe. The greats arrived with millionaire offers to take the most outstanding players. Chelsea put in 40 million euros to take Diego Costa, a forward who had been key in the mattress season. 36 goals and four assists in 52 games. Impressive numbers that even led Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to contest the ‘top scorer’ Trophy for a while.
From the sports management, they combed the market and looked for a future option to relieve Diego Costa who had similar conditions to Lagarto. In this way, a 21-year-old Belgian striker who belonged to Chelsea but had had a great season on loan at Everton appeared on the radar. 16 goals in 33 games and his team signed the best season in its history. Its price was 35 million euros.
The Atletico Madrid got him to be tied up. The player was delighted to start his Spanish adventure and the club had an extraordinary relationship with Chelsea. So everything seemed ready for me to start defending the shield of the bear and the strawberry tree. However, the coaching staff rejected his hiring.
A bet for the future
Their idea was that they would take a step forward if they signed a proven player at the highest international level. At that moment Lukaku was a bet on the future. It must be remembered that they had already made one with Antoine Griezmann in the attack. For this reason, they ended up hiring a seasoned, experienced area player such as Mandzukic. A footballer who did not finish giving the performance that was expected of him and ended up being sold the following summer. It is striking that six years later; Atletico Madrid is looking for a place for Diego Costa in the last years of his career; while Romelu Lukaku has become one of the fashionable players in Europe.