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Lukaku blames Villas-Boas for splintered development

Football

Lukaku blames Villas-Boas for splintered development

MILAN, Italy, May 21 – Romelu Lukaku has slammed Andre Villas-Boas for sidelining him as a young player and hindering his development at Chelsea.

Lukaku was signed by Villas-Boas in the summer of 2011 for around £19m, joining from Anderlecht as a teenager.

The striker rarely featured in his first season in England, however, making 12 appearances, of which only four were starts. And three of those were in the League Cup.

Lukaku moved to West Brom and Everton on loan thereafter, joining the latter permanently before spells with Manchester United and now Inter Milan.

He blames Villas-Boas for the difficulty he found in breaking through at Stamford Bridge, with successor Roberto di Matteo making a far greater effort to include him.

“Di Matteo told me that I would stay with the group until after the final,” Lukaku told Het Laatste Nieuws.

“He thought everyone should come along, including the ones who were suspended and the few boys who were not in the Champions League squad. I am also grateful to him for that.

“This win is one of the things I’ve always dreamed about. You want to celebrate something like that with the team at that time.

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“That is nice in itself at the age of 19. I am happy for the whole club, but there is one man who took a lot from me: the previous trainer. I will never forgive him for that.

“Once I had to play in the front left, another time in the front right. You don’t develop that way.

“Then at some point you have to think about yourself. So I told the club what I thought of it. I know: Villas-Boas was also under pressure. But that’s why he didn’t have to treat me like that.

“Di Matteo approached me completely differently, he immediately involved me in everything. That should have been much earlier. Really, I never forgave the previous coach.”

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