Romelu Lukaku
Lukaku promises a return to Anderlecht one day. Getty

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has signalled his intention to return to Anderlecht before the end of his career.

Lukaku left his boyhood club at the age of 18 to join Chelsea in 2011, one of the clutch of Anderlecht graduates to find their new home in the Premier League alongside Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany.

The Belgium international has since gone onto score 97 times in 212 appearances in English football's top flight for four different clubs and leads United's goal scoring charts with 18 in all competitions this season following his £75m arrival from Everton during last summer's transfer window.

At 24, Lukaku has plenty more years left at the top, but has made no secret of his desire to one day return to where it all began.

"My dream was always to play for Anderlecht," Lukaku said upon a return to the club's training facilities in his homeland, Belgian outlet HLN report. "Before the end of my career I will definitely return, I can already promise that. I have had a wonderful time here."

Lukaku made his professional debut for Anderlecht in 2009 aged just 16, scoring 15 league goals in his first season in the Belgian top flight. In his second and last full season with the club, he improved on that tally, netting 16 times before Chelsea paid a reported fee of £20m [BBC Sport] to take him to Stamford Bridge in August 2011.

The Belgium international struck seven times in his first seven league matches for United this season and was ever-present in Jose Mourinho's starting XI for the first 20, until a head injury suffered in a game against Southampton in December brought an end to that run.

Having struck 12 times in the league this term, Lukaku will have to rediscover his prolific form of the opening months of the campaign if he wishes to come close to his best ever Premier League haul of 25, scored for Everton during the 2016-17 season.