MANCHESTER UNITED striker Romelu Lukaku wanted to leave Everton a season earlier but he was convinced to stay by Ronald Koeman.
The Belgian spent three seasons at Goodison Park, following a successful loan spell, before joining United last summer in a deal worth £75m.
Lukaku enjoyed a stunning debut campaign at Old Trafford, scoring 27 times for Jose Mourinho’s side.
He’s hit the ground running this term, bagging three times in the first four games of the season.
The 25-year-old has improved since leaving the Toffees and he impressed at the World Cup, netting five goals as Belgium finished third.
“I could have left.”
Man Utd star Romelu Lukaku
And Lukaku insists his development as a player is down to Koeman’s encouragement and man management.
“Ronald Koeman came in and me and him really had an open discussion,” he told the BBC.
“At the time, I could have left.
“I said to him ‘you’ve been a pro yourself, you had an opportunity to go to Barcelona at the same age’ – because I did my research.
“He said ‘if you stay, I really want to help you to become a better player’.
“When he said that I wanted to give him a chance.
“That’s why I could see he was a centre-back who scored so many goals, as many as some strikers in their careers.
“I understand why, because of his eye for detail.
“In training he wouldn’t give me a second, he was on me all the time, which I don’t mind, because mentally I am so strong.”
United have endured a disappointing start to the season and are already playing catch up in the Premier League title race.
And Lukaku hopes to continue to improve this year in an effort to fire Mourinho’s side up the table.
“I try to look at as many games as I can from the season before, the mistakes I have done and the points I can improve on,” he added.
“In the first week, we come in and analyse what I want to work on throughout the season.
“The reason I score more and more goals, season after season, is I know my mistakes from the past, I know my strengths and I work on my strengths, but the little points I want to get better and it’s constant.
“Football is what, 15 years? I want to invest 100% of my life into the game, so when it’s all said and done, I don’t want to have regrets.”
United return to Premier League action this evening as they visit unbeaten Watford.