Romelu Lukaku has vowed to bounce back from a miserable season at Manchester United after proving his goalscoring prowess with a brace for Belgium.
Lukaku scored with two close-range finishes as Belgium beat Scotland 3-0 at the King Baudouin Stadium on Tuesday to secure a fourth straight win in Euro 2020 qualifying and move clear of the chasing pack in Group I.
The striker’s exploits for his nation come after a tough season at club level in which he lost his place in the first-team at Old Trafford.
Lukaku struggled to impress under Jose Mourinho’s leadership at the start of last season and continued to underwhelm when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced the sacked Portuguese in December.
The former Chelsea hitman managed just 15 goals in all competitions and has been linked with an Old Trafford exit this summer as Solskjaer oversees a squad overhaul.
And following his two goals for Belgium, Lukaku came out fighting and insisted he wants to come back stronger.
“I’ve had a difficult season at club level,” he said. “I lost my place and haven’t played much.
“But that is a phase in my career and it will help me for the next step.”
He also refused to comment on speculation linking him with a summer move to Inter Milan, who are now managed by former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.
Scotland manager Steve Clarke worked with Lukaku during his loan spell with West Brom, but there were no favours given from the powerful Old Trafford striker who might have scored a hat-trick at least.
Clarke said: “I got a big cuddle with him in the tunnel and he apologised for scoring.
“Romelu is a fantastic character. I enjoyed working with him.
“He was a young boy when he worked with me, he has grown since then, strong, a goal scorer and he has played for some of the best clubs in the Premier League.
“He continues to develop as a player and he wants to get better and better.”