Romelu Lukaku has officially moved from Manchester United to Inter, which means it’s time for those deliciously juicy stories about how the relationship soured to start popping up. The Times has one particularly funny nugget, about how manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær subjected the Belgian to a “‘brutal’ verbal attack” because Lukaku accidentally outed teammate Luke Shaw as a slowpoke.
The issue stems from a tweet Lukaku sent last week, in which the player posted the results of a team speed test in a video. The point of the tweet, as its “Lack of pace [running man emoji] [tears of laughter emoji]” caption implied, was to push back on the notion popular amongst some of his detractors that Lukaku isn’t fast enough.
The video has since been deleted, but you can see a saved copy of it below. The camera starts on the low end of the team’s results, and slowly pans over to the high side, where it is revealed that Lukaku’s top speed was the team’s second fastest:
Of course, a speed test that shows which players are the fastest on a team also shows which ones are the slowest, and focusing on the bottom end of that spectrum is infinitely more entertaining than the top. The internet keyed in on the slow guys, finding it particularly hilarious that full back Luke Shaw, who plays a position that demands speediness from its practitioners and has often come under scrutiny for his poor fitness, came in last place.
A source told the Times that Shaw complained about getting exposed, and the club was reportedly none too happy about it, either. Juan Mata, the team’s second-slowest player, tweeted a lighthearted joke about it all, eliciting an apology from Lukaku and a jokey-but-not-really response from Shaw that explained that he was instructed not to run at full speed, most likely out of injury concerns (Shaw picked up a knock in a friendly a few days after the speed test):
Nevertheless, the attempt to smooth things over on Twitter didn’t succeed, and Lukaku still had to endure Solskjær’s angry tongue-lashing. Solskjær attempted to further punish the want-away striker by ordering him to train with the U-23 team. Instead of complying, Lukaku skipped town to return to Belgium, where he trained with his old club Anderlecht until he was able to secure his transfer.
The takeaways here are as follows: Lukaku is still fast, Shaw may or may not be slow but is very sensitive, Solskjær is kind of a dick, Mata is still our favorite, and Lukaku should be elated to have ditched the shitty team in Manchester for the good team in Milan.