Manchester United weren’t able to sign a replacement, but they were still happy for Romelu Lukaku to complete a £74 million move to Inter Milan at the end of the summer transfer window.
The Belgium international finalised his switch to Italy on Thursday after weeks of speculation.
Inter was his preferred destination but Juventus were also keen on signing the 26-year-old, who had been deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Lukaku, who scored 42 goals in 96 games for the Red Devils, wasn’t the striker that Solskjaer wanted leading the line at United.
The Norwegian coach has subsequently left himself with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and 17-year-old Mason Greenwood as the club’s only centre-forwards. And even then, it could be argued that none of them are out-and-out number nines in the same way Lukaku is.
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Many football fans believe Solskjaer has left United short in attack by selling Lukaku without signing a replacement.
Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic were both linked with moves to Old Trafford towards the end of the transfer window but neither deal materialised.
Lukaku wasn’t involved in Inter’s 1-1 penalty shoot-out victory over Valencia on Saturday evening, but he did make his first appearance for his new employers on Sunday.
And he made quite the impact.
The powerful striker, who will wear the No. 9 shirt this season, scored four goals - yes, four - in an 8-0 victory over Virtus Bergamo.
Virtus Bergamo play in Serie D, but take nothing away from Lukaku’s performance on his debut: four goals is an excellent start against any opponent.
Matias Vecino and Sebastiano Esposito scored braces to complete the rout, per Football Italia.
Lukaku will be hoping to make his competitive debut for the Nerazzurri against Lecce when the 2019/20 Serie A campaign gets underway in two weeks’ time.
Interestingly, Lukaku is currently the sixth favourite with the bookmakers to win the 2019/20 Serie A Golden Boot award.
Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is the favourite (unsurprisingly), followed by Krzysztof Piatek, Mauro Icardi, Duvan Zapata and Fabio Quagliarella.
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