Romelu Lukaku says he did not have to "think twice" about moving to Manchester United from Everton as it represents "the perfect opportunity" and of course he is right! The 24 year-old striker has signed for United for an initial £75m, despite former club Chelsea matching the bid and this is the most perfect move for him, we envisage huge success and will explain why.
DULLARDS OF THE LAZY KIND!
Vacuous football pundits who bemoan negative traits of the new Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, supposed or perceived, should be contemptuously dismissed and labelled dullards of the lazy kind! Peddling incomplete information which is neither comparable or in context nor relevant or fair renders their comments as piffle!
CHELSEA STINT NOT WORTHY OF EVALUATION
We need to remind ourselves his first stint with Chelsea he was aged just 18 and nothing that happened then is worthy of meaningful evaluation including the sanctioning of his exit by Jose Mourinho. Furthermore, those that say he failed to score for Chelsea in 8 Premier League matches (2011/12) mask the fact that most of those were as substitute when he was desperate young man trying to make an impact.
A SILLY STICK TO BEAT HIM WITH...
We are drip-fed on a daily basis that Lukaku does not have world class close control and link-up skills and that he does not aid bringing others into the attack. How many comparable players playing in the Premier League actually have this world class control? Alexis Sánchez (28), Diego Costa (28) and Sergio Agüero (29) have but be assured Lukaku has strengths in other departments that they do not have. Most importantly he scored more goals than all three last season despite his age, what's more he will score more than them in the next 8 seasons. Yes, his first touch can be improved and will improve, especially under the gaze of Jose Mourinho but under his 6ft 3in powerpack frame words like deft and nimble will never apply - but lots of other words will.
|Premier League 2016/17||Goals||Assists|
|Harry Kane (24)||29||7|
|Romelu Lukaku (24)||25||6|
|Alexis Sánchez (28)||24||10|
|Sergio Agüero (29)||20||3|
|Diego Costa (28)||20||7|
|Zlatan Ibrahimovic (35)||17||5|
As regards not bringing others into the game his record regarding assists compare favourably. We note Philippe Coutinho, David Silva, Dele Alli and Adam Lallana are regarded as play makers yet they recorded just 7 assists each so just one more than Lukaku.
GOAL SCORING MORE IMPORTANT THAN A GOOD FIRST TOUCH
Regurgitating the phrase world class close control whilst forgetting everything else depicts a shallow and ignorant knowledge of the game and especially when we are talking about goal conversion. Do these pundits not understand that in every level and aspect of football GOAL SCORING and CLEAN SHEETS are the TOP 2 PRIORITIES/CONSIDERATIONS when it comes to measuring SUCCESS and/or WINNING TROPHIES! There are no points or trophies awarded for world class close control, important as this is, it is merely a skill and an element of a collective effort. Scoring goals regularly is a bigger and more influential skill and teams win matches by scoring more goals or conceding less.
WHEN MEASURING A PLAYER IT IS BEST TO ASSESS THE SKILL SET AND NOT AN INDIVIDUAL TRAIT...
PRESSING IS OVER-RATED
We are also told he does not press or work hard when his team out of possession. What does this actually mean? Which of the current list of great strikers charge across the back line harrying defenders using up reserves and energy levels that will negatively impact on their ability to score goals when those chances present themselves. Let's be clear, great strikers strike, you would never hear supporters say "Our striker may not have scored many goals this season but boy he sweated, ran more miles and produced some of best harrying ever seen at our club." Of course not, supporters, players and management want their strikers to score goals as a first priority and assist goal scoring as a second. Regarding assists last season, Lukaku had the third highest of assists (6) of all Premier League strikers. As he matures this area is bound to improve but let's remind ourselves he is just one of 12 players in Europe's Top Five leagues with 50 goals and 20 assists during the past four seasons, and one of only three players to do so in the Premier League alongside Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sánchez.
WITH MATURITY NATURAL IMPROVEMENT IS EXPECTED
Some are saying because he was a shining star in a side that finished seventh in the Premier League last season, potentially inflating his worth, could he cut it at the top? Once again more piffle. If he shows scope and potential in a lesser side his game will naturally improve for a step up and the way Mourinho likes to set up his teams will give the space where he is not only effective but frighteningly destructive. He can also be assured of a better quality service and the prospect of Pogba hitting him with early balls is an exciting milieu. This association will probably be the most compelling and productive of the 2017/18 season and the pair seem to have a natural bond that could grow into one of the great partnerships. For Mourinho this is something to build the team around and help re-establish him as the greatest manager of all time!
PEDIGREE PROVEN SO THE BET IS ON!
Remember, only Manchester City's Sergio Agüero and Tottenham's Harry Kane have scored more Premier League goals over the past four seasons than Romelu Lukaku and they have played in quality top four sides and certainly not a West Bromwich Albion. He became only the fourth player to score more than 80 goals in the Premier League before turning 24 following Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler and Wayne Rooney and all three played for higher status clubs. In the Premier League this season only Kane can beat him as the top scorer but we believe Lukaku's physicality, power and ability to stay on the pitch will see him improve past his rival this time around and we anticipate him being the top scorer. The Racing Horse advises a win on the Manchester United striker and a saver on Kane to cover the stake.
Lukaku is Everton's all-time leading scorer in the Premier League, with 68 goals, and is the only player in club history to have a 20-goal season in the league. His 25 Premier League goals last season were as many as the next eight Everton scorers combined and his goal returns of 20, 25 and 26 in the past three seasons is not only testament of his quality but proof he is the real deal and getting better by the day. Of the 68 goals scored 34 were with his left foot, 20 with his right and 14 with his head. 28 goals were scored in the first half and 40 in the second. At home he scored 40 goals and away 28 goals. These stats shout a perfect symmetry. Today Paul Mariner (one of the worst strikers to play for England) joined the slag merchants claiming the striker may not be a good signing because he needed to thrive in 'tight' situations but 65 of the 68 goals came inside the box, and as mentioned 14 were headers, we would suggest a proportion of those were in tight situations.
READY FOR THE BIG STAGE
No one can doubt his speed, acceleration, physicality and aerial presence and his goal ratio is extremely impressive and all this at the age of just 24. He is now ready for the big stage and his move to Manchester United is absolutely perfect for him and club, he is actually a better fit than Zlatan Ibrahimović who despite wild acclaim scored just 17 goals and 5 assists in the Premeir League and stalled a lot of the Manchester United build-up play. Lukaku's shot conversion rate was also far superior! It is our belief that of all the transfers made this season this one is the most significant! The relevant evidence above suggests a personal best this season and the striker must get close to 30 goals dependent on what competitions he plays in. By replacing Ibrahimovic and his static style with the strength and powerful running of Lukaku this must suit the default Mourinhol philosophy which in turn make the team more effective over the season and more exciting to watch.
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