Ex Everton fitness coach Jan Kluitenberg admits he found Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku “lazy”.
Kluitenberg worked with Lukaku as part of ex Blues manager Ronald Koeman’s backroom team.
He told the Liverpool Echo: “I need to be honest, always. Romelu was a little bit lazy. My challenge is always to make it clear in my mind what the players need.
“In the case of Romelu, I said to Ronald: ‘Let’s sit with him and make it clear for him’ because he has speed, he’s powerful, he’s really a good athlete but in some details it is not always about being stronger or faster but you need to create a skeleton to make sure you are not injured.
“We know he was really fast but in England you have two or three defenders on your neck so we worked on his turning, that speed over the first metre.
“So for him, it was not really the gym work but on the pitch, how he can move, some agility work, those kind of details.
“A different player would need more investment in the body but Romelu needed to be fresh but that agility and first metre work gave him some extra steps in or around the box.
“I remember we played away to City and he got the ball at the halfway line, came in from the left and scored to make it 1-0. In his case, he is a lucky boy: he’s fast, he’s very strong but with the ball we invested some time in him.
“But there were one or two times when Ronald was not happy, he needed him to do the physical part on the pitch and not in the gym, so he could get more oxygen for his lungs and run for longer on the pitch.
“I have to say, it was amazing working with him. But sometimes, like Virgil van Dijk, you have to take them by the shirt and tell them as a player in your position, don’t think you are there, because everyday you need to be working.”