Romelu Lukaku carried his poor domestic form into Euro 2016 as Belgium began the tournament with a 2-0 defeat by Italy. Has the Everton strikers preoccupation with his future affected his performances? Romelu Lukaku has made no secret of his lofty ambitions in recent months. The Everton striker declared he wanted to join a top club in February, and a few weeks later he hit the headlines again. Im 23 next summer and I think it would be nice to play in the Champions League from next season, he said. Even his father talked up a transfer.Each interview received a predictably frosty reception from the Everton supporters watching their team languish in the bottom half of the Premier League table, but there was more of the same after the campaign came to a close. I have had a very good season, said Lukaku, but it is time for me to write myself a CV. It is difficult to argue with Lukakus assessment of his season. The striker scored 25 times in 46 games despite Evertons struggles. But while it was his most prolific campaign yet, it also finished with the longest scoring drought of his career. Lukakus form dipped dramatically as he became preoccupied with his future. He went 10 games without scoring between March and May. Italy bury toothless Belgium Read our match report from Italys 2-0 win over Belgium in Group E. A string of goals in Belgiums pre-tournament friendlies hinted at an upturn in fortunes, but Lukaku carried his poor domestic form into the European Championships on Monday night. The 23-year-old was selected ahead of Christian Benteke, Divock Origi and Michy Batshuayi for Belgiums Group E opener against Italy. It was a perfect opportunity to show that he belongs among the elite, but Lukaku fluffed his lines on the big stage.Sky Sports pundit Thierry Henry used the word passive to sum up his performance, and the lack of intensity was alarming. He was static and ponderous in the face of Italys fearsome back three, and he was nowhere near Leonardo Bonucci when the Italian centre-back serenely sprayed a 50-yard pass into the path of Emanuele Giaccherini from inside his own half for the opening goal. Lukaku misses a scoring chance in the second half of Belgiums defeat by Italy Lukaku didnt win a single aerial duel and posted the lowest passing accuracy (66.7 per cent) of any of his team-mates, and he also spurned a golden opportunity to equalise shortly after the break. Kevin de Bruynes diagonal pass sent him through on goal, but his wayward effort sailed harmlessly wide. He spun away with his head in his hands, and there was more frustration to come.Lukakus clumsy first touches became a feature of the encounter as Belgiums attacks broke down around him. On one occasion substitute Dries Mertens and De Bruyne combined brilliantly to find him inside Italys box, but he failed to get the ball under control and ended up in a heap of tangled limbs on the turf. Wilmots wont blame PL stars Marc Wilmots refused to blame Belgiums Premier League stars for the defeat. It proved to be Lukakus last action of the game, with Marc Wilmots throwing on Origi in his place for the closing stages. The Liverpool striker also missed a clear scoring chance when he failed to connect with a header from six yards out, but his introduction did at least bring a clear increase in intensity.Origi muscled through a crowd of Italy defenders and dug out a dangerous cross just moments after his introduction, and he offered the kind of dynamism they had sorely lacked with Lukaku at the tip of their attack. With Benteke and the highly-rated Batshuayi also waiting in the wings, Lukakus struggles could prove costly. Belgium players show their dejection after Italys second goal This, of course, was not the first time Lukaku has failed to live up to expectations on the international stage. The former Anderlecht prodigy lost his place to Origi during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and he now faces the possibility of a repeat scenario when Wilmots picks his team for their remaining group games against Republic of Ireland and Sweden.Euro 2016 looked like the perfect shop window for Lukaku to showcase his talents, but after months of talking up his future, the Everton man might have already missed his best chance to excite his suitors. Also See: Italy bury toothless Belgium Open wound to inspire Italy Italys defence the best Wilmots refuses to blame PL stars Justin Bethel Jersey
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