Romelu Lukaku does not consider his time at Manchester United to have been a “bad experience”, with two testing years at Old Trafford making him “stronger”.
The Belgium international striker linked up with the Red Devils in the summer of 2017.
Jose Mourinho completed a £75 million ($98m) raid on the ranks at Everton as United sought to bring a proven Premier League frontman onto their books.
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Lukaku would register 42 goals in 96 appearances, but never truly convinced in a system which required him to be more than just an attacking focal point.
In the end, the opportunity to leave for Serie A giants Inter in 2019 proved too good to pass up, with United making their money back on a player who had become disillusioned with life in Manchester.
That deal has worked out for all concerned, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial thriving for the Red Devils while Lukaku leads a title charge in Italy.
The latter claims to have benefited from his spell at United, with positives taken from a challenging period which made him a more complete performer.
Lukaku told reporters at the Global Soccer Gala in Dubai when quizzed on his time at the Theatre of Dreams: “The period there had made me calmer.
“I don’t look at it in a negative way; it really helped me mentally to be ready and to grow as a player and as a person.
“I will never see it as a bad experience because it helped me be where I am today.”
Lukaku has burst out of the blocks with Inter, netting 12 league goals in 17 appearances, and feels he is better placed to lead from the front than he was during a difficult time for an inconsistent United.
The 26-year-old added: “Clearly now that I’m at Inter there are benefits from what I learned in Manchester both from a sporting and non-sporting point of view.
“I prepared a lot and I am much calmer. In my head, there is much more serenity and composure.
“I am a person who when things are not going well, shows it through so much anger. I’m stronger after the Manchester United experience.”