Romelu Lukaku says he plans to quit international football with Belgium after the European Championships in 2020, to help blood the younger generation.
Lukaku spent the summer with Roberto Martinez’ Belgium squad at the World Cup finals in Russia, scoring 4 goals for his country as they reached the semifinals. France ultimately bested them at the penultimate stage, however, they did manage to beat England to win a bronze medal in the much-maligned third-place play-off match.
The United striker impressed in Russia with his finishing ability and significant contribution to Belgium’s general build-up play, showing how much he has improved his game since moving to Old Trafford from Everton last summer. In his first season with the Red Devils, Lukaku managed to score 27 goals in all competitions and firmly establish himself as the club’s number one striker.
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The 25-year-old is approaching the prime years of his career and he seems to be improving all the time under Jose Mourinho in Manchester, however, according to The Business Insider, he plans to cut short his time at international level after the Euros in two years.
Lukaku said in an interview with The Business Insider: “After the Euros, I think I’ll stop.”
He then went on to suggest that his decision is based on helping the next generation of Belgian strikers to succeed.
“I’m 25, I’m like, I’m not even in my prime yet,” The United star continued.”So I still see them as competition right now because they try to take my spot and I don’t want to give it up to them. So like another two years, and then they can have it.”
Whilst this news may come as a shock to Belgium fans and indeed Roberto Martinez, it may actually be seen as a positive move by Manchester United supporters, who could see his early retirement as a way for him to fully focus on his duties at club level.
Lukaku is set to feature for Mourinho’s men on Sunday in their first away game of the new season against Brighton and he will hope to get his name on the scoresheet as he aims to improve on his tally of 16 Premier League goals last year.