Romelu Lukaku has struggled with the pace of the Premier League

The Premier League is ‘too strong, too powerful and too fast’ for Romelu Lukaku, claims ex-Chelsea man John Obi Mikel, as the Belgian striker pushes for a return to Inter Milan after struggling at Stamford Bridge

  • Romelu Lukaku is struggling to adapt to the Premier League, says John Obi Mikel
  • The Premier League’s pace, power and quality have been difficult for the Belgian
  • Mikel claims the Premier League requires more work and effort than Serie A
  • Lukaku is running out of time to impress and is linked with a move back to Inter

John Obi Mikel has claimed that Romelu Lukaku is struggling to adapt to the pace of the Premier League after rejoining Chelsea from ‘slow’ Serie A.

The former Blues midfielder, who won the Champions League with the club in 2012, thinks the change in speed and quality has been the main reason behind the Belgian striker’s struggles over the past season. 

Following his £98million move back to Stamford Bridge from Inter Milan last summer, Lukaku only managed eight goals and an assist in the league as he failed to make an impact on his high-profile return to English football.

Romelu Lukaku has struggled to impress at Chelsea despite scoring on his debut last season

John Obi Mikel was part of Chelsea’s underdog Champions League winning side in 2012

Mikel said: ‘The league is totally different. The English league is too strong, too powerful, too fast, whereas the Italian league is too slow. 

‘The English league has too much quality. The pace of English football is way too much for the Italian league. 

‘In the Italian league you can play until you’re 40 years old, but in the English league you’re putting in way more work’. 

Lukaku guided Inter to their first Scudetto in 11 years, scoring 24 Serie A goals in the process

Despite playing 372 games for Chelsea, Mikel scored just once in the Premier League

Lukaku’s struggles this year have proven to be something of a quandary for Blues boss Thomas Tuchel, after his hugely impressive spell at Inter.

The powerful Belgian forward hit the headlines in December with a bombshell interview where he stated his unhappiness at Stamford Bridge. He was soon dropped from the Tuchel’s starting XI. 

Lukaku improved towards the end of the campaign but has still been tipped to make a swift exit, with heavy interest from former club Inter.

Much had been made of Lukaku’s return to west London last summer as he sought to conclude unfinished business he had in the Premier League, following a lacklustre period at Manchester United. 

But after just a season back in England, his time at Chelsea could be over for good, with the club willing to let him leave on loan for a fee of £20m.

The front cover of Friday’s Gazzetta dello Sport claims Inzaghi is keen to bring Lukaku back

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