Antonio Conte Talks Romelu Lukaku Debut, Transfer Fee from Manchester United

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2019

MILAN, ITALY - AUGUST 26:  Romelu Lukaku of FC Internazionale  looks on during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and US Lecce at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on August 26, 2019 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)
Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Antonio Conte praised Romelu Lukaku after he scored on his Inter Milan debut on Monday, and Conte revealed details on the transfer fee the club will pay to Manchester United.

Lukaku scored in a 4-0 win over Lecce on Monday, and Conte told Sky Sport Italia (h/t Football-Italia) his performance "showed why we tried so hard to sign him."

He praised the striker following his arrival from United earlier in August and said there is more still to come:

Goal @goal

Romelu Lukaku is off the mark at Inter ⚽️ And Antonio Conte says there's a lot more to come from the 'gentle giant' in Serie A 🇮🇹 https://t.co/74Fc5hPgi5

On his transfer fee, he added to Sky Sport Italia (h/t Football-Italia), "Let's not forget Lukaku cost €65 million to be paid over five years, so when people talk about big money spent, it wasn't even that much."

BBC Sport's Simon Stone reported his transfer fee could rise to a club-record €80 million (£74 million), so it seems Conte's figure of €65 million (£59 million) is before add-ons.

Given the Red Devils spent an initial £75 million to sign him from Everton in 2017, in a deal that included a potential £15 million in add-ons, it's clear they've been unable to recoup all the money spent on the Belgian.

Lukaku found the net on Monday when he finished a rebound from Lautaro Martinez:

Premier Sports 📺 @PremierSportsTV

LUKAKU! 🔥 He gets a debut goal for Inter Milan, it had to be! 🔵⚫ #SerieA https://t.co/XtojfCp8ug

He's no stranger to a debut goal, and he also showed another side to his game as he brought his team-mates into play:

B/R Football @brfootball

The last four league debuts for @RomeluLukaku9: West Brom—⚽ Everton—⚽ Manchester United—⚽ Inter—⚽ https://t.co/RG3tT6GZu7

Squawka Football @Squawka

@iammoallim Romelu Lukaku created more chances (4) vs. Lecce than any other player Inter Milan during his debut for the club. And he got himself on the scoresheet. 😏 https://t.co/GAljTHsZZK

The Independent's Jack Rathborn was impressed with his performance:

Jack Rathborn @JackRathborn

This is a Lukaku we’ve not seen for a long time, looks fast and powerful, smart movement to drift out wide and take on opponents, and now opens his Inter account following up the rebound #InterLecce

The striker only scored 15 goals in 45 appearances last season, but he netted 27 in his first campaign with United.

He has been one of Europe's most prolific strikers in recent years, with his goal against Lecce being the 236th strike of his career for club and country.

Conte won three consecutive Serie A titles with Juventus and guided Chelsea to the Premier League title in his first season at Stamford Bridge. He's a manager who can often coax a great deal from his players, so he could be the ideal coach to get Lukaku firing again after he disappointed with United last season.

If the Italian can get the best out of Lukaku, they'll have an enormous asset on their hands.