Romelu Lukaku's resurgence does not mean Man Utd were wrong to sell him
Few transfers work for all parties involved, Lukaku's is the exception
On Monday night, Romelu Lukaku excelled as his Inter Milan side put five goals past Shakhtar Donetsk on their way to the Europa League final.
Lukaku scored twice in what was his 10th consecutive Europa League game with a goal, and took his overall season tally to 33 goals, just one off Ronaldo's tally during his first season at the San Siro.
As one would expect, social media erupted in praise of Lukaku, who has found a real home under Antonio Conte at Inter and, in Serie A, a league in which he is capable of showing each of his best attributes.
But this is 2020 and Twitter is Twitter, so unsurprisingly Lukaku's success was immediately compared with and attributed to the elimination from the Europa League of his former side the previous night.
A profligate Manchester United had lost 2-1 to Europa League stalwarts Sevilla, and this - combined with Lukaku's performance - led to many coming to a very simple conclusion: United were wrong to sell.
Despite its simplicity, though, it is also a very wrong conclusion.
"Greenwood is coming through, Martial and Rashford, I expected all of that.
"I'm really happy for them, they look really good for next season."
Romelu Lukaku reflects on Inter's 5-0 demolition of Shakhtar and comments on his old side Man United...#Club2020 pic.twitter.com/yf2nGCKqzr
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 17, 2020
Memories are short, and a season of success can make people forget just how wrong a match Lukaku and Manchester United were towards the end.
The Belgian striker wasn't happy at Old Trafford, who didn't play to his strengths. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wasn't happy with Lukaku, who wasn't the kind of striker he wanted to lead his line.
So they parted ways.
In the 12 months since Lukaku left Manchester for Milan, the fortunes of all parties involved have improved immeasurably.
Lukaku is prolific once again, and in Antonio Conte has found a manager who trusts and believes in him. Inter Milan, meanwhile, have enjoyed their most successful Serie A campaign in years, finishing just a point behind eventual winners Juventus. They also find themselves in a European final for the first time in a decade.
Manchester United, meanwhile, are a changed team. This season has not been smooth, but the signing of Bruno Fernandes and the emergence of Mason Greenwood has them playing (for the most part) their best football since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club.
The void left by Lukaku has allowed Anthony Martial to emerge as a more ruthless striker, and has allowed Solskjaer to deploy a lethal front three that can threaten the best defences around.
The future is bright for Lukaku, Inter and Manchester United. And the decision to sell him was correct.
One result doesn't change that.