Romelu Lukaku clinched his return to Chelsea on Thursday for a £97.5 million transfer.

Paul Pogba’s £89 million transfer fee had stood as a British record since 2016.

Now Lukaku and days earlier, Jack Grealish to City for £100 million, have finally broken the record in the same week.

United will receive around £4 million of the transfer fee as part of a sell on clause.

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The speed of Lukaku’s move has been commendable, considering Manchester United managed to announce Raphael Varane’s move on July 27, and we are still waiting for it to be completed.

But that’s how United tend to work. The club sold Lukaku in 2019 and his long term replacement, well, he has not been found yet.

Edinson Cavani is filling in and doing a great job as a high quality stop-gap solution up front. Next summer, United will have to take action up front.

United stars quiet as Lukaku returns

Lukaku’s return to the Premier League is a pretty big deal, as his price tag suggests.

The striker posted a message on social media and received plenty of feedback from former teammates and opponents.

Belgian stars Christian Benteke and Jan Vertonghen congratulated him on the switch, as did Joe Hart and Tyrone Mings.

 

Chelsea stars Reece James and Mason Mount were among those to welcome their new teammate.

But it probably speaks volumes that Manchester United’s players had nothing to say to Lukaku.

The one ex-Red Devil who did reach out was former teammate Daley Blind.

Swansea City v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

A new start, and new rivalry

Lukaku’s form in Italy has been used as a stick by the media to use against United over the past two seasons.

Now he is back, we will see whether Lukaku really has improved, or if he still has the same flaws to his game which were clearly evident at United.

Lukaku is a good striker, and he will score goals and make Chelsea stronger. But his time at United was ultimately disappointing and there were not many tears shed when he left.

When the two teams meet later in the season, Lukaku will want to prove a point. He has always spoken well of United since leaving, but you sense he will want to show Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the changes he has made to his game.

Chelsea are one of the threats United will face in the battle for the title along with Liverpool and Manchester City, and Lukaku should give them a little more consistency.

If he does do well at Stamford Bridge, expect the media to make an even bigger deal of United’s decision to let him leave than they have already.

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