Premier League legend Paolo Di Canio has launched a tirade at Chelsea outcast Romelu Lukaku after his explosive Italian interview claiming Chelsea play much better without him.
Lukaku has long been a target for Sky Sport Italia presenter Di Canio’s anger and criticism, having said from the moment he arrived at Inter just over two years ago that he disappeared in big games and had very little technical skill.
So the outpouring of scorn from Inter and Chelsea fans after Lukaku’s Sky Sport Italia exclusive interview is all Di Canio needed to let loose again.
“This interview shows the weakness of an athlete who after six months gives up, perhaps because he arrived there with the arrogance of someone who doesn’t realise what his real level is,” Di Canio said on his Sky Sport Italia Premier League show.
“He won the Scudetto in Italy as a co-protagonist with his other teammates, but he’s no Lionel Messi. Inter would’ve won even without him, if they had Duvan Zapata or someone like that upfront. He is a functional player who did his duty in that team.
“He then went to the Champions of Europe, in the Premier League against sides like Manchester City and Liverpool, where he is just one of many big names. If you arrive at Chelsea and think you’re going to be number one, you are in for a rude awakening!
“Chelsea played much better without Lukaku. He is a fragile player, so he seems to have character, but when he talks like that, the truth is he is very fragile.”
Following the interview, in which he bitterly criticised coach Thomas Tuchel’s tactics, Lukaku was dropped from the Chelsea squad for Sunday’s clash against Liverpool.
It is also now sparking potential transfer talk for a reunion with Antonio Conte at Tottenham Hotspur, just months after the €115m move from Inter.
“Lukaku scored an incredible own goal here, it was a disastrous interview that made absolutely everybody unhappy, including himself. As I always said, he’s a big soppy cat more than a panther, he has never been hungry or determined in the big situations,” continued Di Canio.
“I think Chelsea are tearing their hair out with regret over this transfer, especially as they didn’t even really need this player.”