Updated: Jul 29, 2020
Love him. Hate him. He's still a goal machine. Is he a good investment though?
Team: Inter, #9
Buy Price: £2.06
Current IS: £1.83
Lukaku has played the villain since his disappointing spell at Manchester United. But prior to his time at Old Trafford, Lukaku was worshiped as a generational talent. He started his professional career at Anderlecht, aged just 16. He scored 33 goals in 73 appearances, helping Anderlecht to the Belgian title. A move to Chelsea ensued, though he failed to ever break into regular first team football at Stamford Bridge. Loan Spells at West Brom and Everton helped him reinforce his reputation as a physical yet skilled forward. The latter loan spell resulted in a permanent move to Everton, where his 52 goals in 110 appearances over the following three years built his reputation as a starting Premier League Striker in his early 20s. Manchester United signed him in 2017 for £75m, following the departure of Wayne Rooney. Two years later, he was sold for a similar fee to Inter, after failing to impress management to be considered a character the squad could build a future around.
Most English football fans have watched the imposing forward play. He's strong, direct, and clinical. Dangerous in the air and with the ball at his feet, Lukaku causes a host of problems to defenders who can't match his physicality. His athleticism is not the only threat though; capable of hold-up and link play, the forward isn't simply a 'target man'. He's rather an imposing poacher, with a lethal left foot that doesn't require an invitation to pull the trigger.
The move from Manchester United to a foreign league was not helpful for media investments. Following all the controversy and transfer speculation, he plummeted in price once the signing at Inter was confirmed. Understandably, a lower media presence in Serie A was sufficient reason to sell up. It was also unclear how he'd adjust to Italian football, given he'd been part of the Premier League for 8 years. It turns out, he hit the ground running.
23 goals in 34 appearances in Serie A, 15 of which were away from home. That beat a 70 year record. Add another couple of goals and assists in the Champions League, and a couple in the Europa League thereafter - it's reasonable to say he's still one of Europe's best strikers.
With IPDs on another level over the coming weeks, Lukaku still has two Serie A games and a Europa League game (Gold Matchday) against Getafe. If Inter win, there's even more on offer.
Lukaku has risen from £1.92 to £2.06 in the last 72 hours. It seems plenty of traders have recognised the opportunity to invest now. Perhaps it's with short-term intentions given the summer promos. But with the renewed dividend structure, perhaps a long-term hold in Lukaku could prove a rewarding investment through matchday dividends.
PB Profile 2019/20 - Index Gain
Top 5 PB scores: 205, 204, 204, 194, 194
PB Average: 86
3 200+ scores is decent, but not exactly high-end. That said, a price range around £2 is still relatively cheap for such a high profile individual who is scoring goals. His PB needs improvement to hit a higher peak score, but it's difficult to see how much more he can improve his ratings as a forward of his style. He isn't involved in masses of build up play. He isn't registering assists. If he's to make a bigger impression in PB, he'll need to be scoring more regularly - but this isn't impossible.
A good investment?
It truly depends if he can build on his impressive first season. He'll need to improve his numbers, both in goals and assists but also linking up play and retaining possession. He needs his base score to improve so to not rely on having to score a hat-trick to post a good PB score. It's a lot to ask of a player who's style is very much established. At 27, he's not getting any younger, but a three year investment where he plays regular European Football is not likely to face serious capital depreciation.
What's most intriguing is how Inter continue to build. If they retain some of their younger talents, namely Martinez and Skriniar, they could be a solid European side who could do well in both Serie A and Europe. They heavily rely on experienced players, many of which have Premier League experience; Young, Sanchez, Eriksen. But many of Europe's best teams field players well into their 30s. Veterans such as Godin, Valero and Candreva offer a maturity to Inter's play. It seems the Italian outfit could still improve using some of these more experienced players.
Lukaku at £2 seems fair value for now. He's not putting up huge PB scores, despite a good goalscoring record. His media buzz is not what it once was. But if Inter can build on their impressive season, there's a chance Lukaku's numbers can rise further. That would put him up there with some of the finest strikers in Europe, and even a consistently good PB score. If that were to come to fruition, £2 a share would be a bargain.