A sigh of relief can be heard coming from Manchester United supports in the second (official) week of the summer transfer window, as the red half of the city sign young Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton. For a reported fee of £75 million and the swap of club legend Wayne Rooney, and through much speculation and drama, was the result of another great signing for the Red Devils. For those familiar with the English Premier League, Romelu Lukaku is not a new face of the game.
Beginning his professional career for Belgian side Anderlecht in 2009, he quickly put himself on the map, becoming the top scorer in the league the following title winning season. Continuing to impress, although his team did not, it seemed to be inevitable that somewhere around the world a big club would spot the young striker. That club was Chelsea FC.
After being part of Chelsea for 3 years, spending majority of his time on the reserves side, and having been loaned out to West Bromwich Albion and Everton-who purchased him right after- the young striker did what was best for his career, in staying at a club who needed him.
Having made his most success out of a smart decision, it is no doubt in anyone’s mind that he would return himself to a major club one day and play under one of football’s intelligent managers, José Mourinho.
But the question shall be asked…who is Romelu Lukaku?
As it is worldly known, the days of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a United shirt are over, and the thoughts of supports start to arise in questioning who will be the starting striker next season.
While many would have thought it would be the young Manchester-born, Marcus Rashford, to have first dibs, others thought a new signing was a must.
In this case, there are pros and cons to having just signed a new striker; yes it may be true that once again Rashford will be forced to play a wider role in the squad seeing as 1 striker formations is the way United have been playing under Mourinho, but this is also not necessarily a bad thing. Though it didn’t often put his name on the score sheet, Rashford adapted very quickly and efficiently on the left side of the pitch. Using his pace and ability to find open areas whilst linking up with the middle was frequently a big help in advancing the attack. Although some may think this will shorten Rashford’s playing time, it seems that he is in Mourinho’s plans as he continues to use him so wisely.
What Manchester United seem to be missing in recent times, is an out and out striker, someone to score goals. Someone who poaches in the box but can become a target man when needed.
Similar in ways to Ibrahimovic, Lukaku brings the aspect of goal scoring back into the light for Manchester United.
Over the last few seasons, Romelu Lukaku has impressed many with his ability to find the back of the net repeatedly. Being a contender in the Golden Boot race 2 seasons in a row, it is clear this young man is hungry for goals.
As many have said, Manchester United’s biggest struggle of the past few seasons has been the quite opposite to those of Romelu Lukaku. Their lack of goal scoring has cost many goalless or incredibly low scoring matches for an extremely talented side. Romelu Lukaku’s versatile way of finishing a strike is exactly the advantage Manchester United need.
These clips display Lukaku’s finishing abilities. Proving he can body through the defense or beat them physically/athletically, Romelu Lukaku has the dexterity to get past several types of defenders. Acting as a poacher/target man or adding to the aerial attacking style, Lukaku is sure to bring goals to the English side one way or another.
A known flaw in the Belgian striker’s game is his poor first touch. Something that is definitely very important for a striker to have, especially that of a modern day poacher. This could come as a little bit of an issue for Lukaku. With such great reliance on the midfield to link up plays, and what could be seen as a certain amount of pressure to score goals, this will have to be something that needs to be worked on.
Although the first touch of a ball should be a natural gift of a striker, it is not impossible to learn nor should it be a huge worry for any supporter or teammate. With his physical and athletic capabilities, his adjustability and knowledge of the game with only help improve his game over time.
As the second signing of the transfer window is made just before the pre-season tour, the hopes of the new season are looking bright. With some known faults in Manchester United’s game, it was clear who and what needed to be added to the side in order to bring on a title-contending season. First adding depth to the back line with Victor Lindelöf and now the amazing talents of Romelu Lukaku up front, the plans of José Mourinho seem to be falling into place. Already with a Premier League background and proving himself in front of the net, Lukaku’s fit at United should be an easy start to what could be the beginning of a successful run.