Romelu Lukaku joined Manchester United on the 10 July 2017, in deal reportedly worth about £90 million. The Belgian international made the decision to work with Jose Mourinho again, after scoring 25 English Premier League goals for Everton last season; the main reasons being that Manchester United wanted him more than Chelsea and obviously, Champions League football.
It is no secret that Mourinho was initially looking to sign Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann and then Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata; and it was only when these deals went sour for whatever the reason, did United then move in for Romelu. It is for this reason, that some football pundits and fans have expressed reservations about the move; and whether or not the Belgian striker can be the perfect answer for the goal shy United team, now without Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney.
Natural Talent & Ability
To begin with, no one can doubt the natural ability and physical presence of Romelu Lukaku. The player was the second highest scorer in the Premier League with 25 goals last season, with Tottenham’s Harry Kane in the top spot with 29 goals. Furthermore, the striker has been consistently scoring goals, at least 20 goals every season for the last three years.
But even more telling is the fact that Lukaku scores goals in all sorts of ways, which is definitely a sign of a truly great player. Out of 25 goals last season, he scored 12 of these with his left foot and 7 with his right, which was actually more than some accomplished right footed players like Benteke and Firmino! Plus the striker headed in another 6 goals, which was the third best for headed goals.
Apart from the 24 year old’s actual goal scoring prowess, the player does contribute to the team, with regards to his movement; a definite improvement, when compared to Zlatan. Romelu’s movement off the ball and the ability to hold up the play; will most certainly create opportunities, which players like Mata, Paul Pogba and Mkhitaryan will relish. Furthermore, the striker is a potent force on the counter attack, which is yet another aspect of his game that makes him such a huge problem for the best of defences.
Questions To Be Answered
On the other hand, there are some questions that need to be answered by the big Belgian striker; like whether or not he will be able to handle the unique pressure that comes from his transfer fee and just being at Manchester United. Old Trafford can be quite daunting for some players, and in the past some of the best in the business have failed to handle the constant pressure, criticism and scrutiny. In fact, this is probably the main difference between Romelu Lukaku and players like Griezmann and Morata; as these two players have already experienced the pressure of being at a top club and Champions League action.
Critics will also highlight the glaring fact that Lukaku very much struggles to shine against quality teams. So that arguably, he finds to difficult to produce the goals during the big games, which is when it matters the most. The statistics underline this, with him only scoring 4 goals out of the 25 against the teams that finished in the top six last season.
Most Likely Outcome
So, is Lukaku going to be Jose’s solution to his team’s lack of goals? Traditionally, one only has to look at established bookmakers like Sportingbet, to get a true indication as to how something is going to turn out. Right now Romelu Lukaku is second favourite priced at 4/1 to be the EPL Top Goalscorer for 2017/2018, with Harry Kane being the favourite at 5/2.
Therefore, it would be no surprise to see the Premier League Golden Boot award going to Manchester United striker, especially if United’s midfielders like Paul Pogba can increase his assists to what it was at Juventus. Whatever the outcome, one thing is for certain, and that is this season at Old Trafford promises to be one of the most exciting ever!