As I woke up Thursday morning and turned on Sky Sports News expecting news on the signing of Morata, I was shocked to see that the signing of Lukaku was imminent. There had been nothing reported on this transfer in the weeks leading up to this, most reports were saying that Chelsea would have this deal done to replace Costa. Morata was suppose to be having a medical last week and Mourinho was allegedly frustrated with the lack of signings up to this point. But it looks like Lukaku was always Mourinho’s first choice as the Zlatan replacement. Considering he sold him at Chelsea most people are surprised that he is desperate to spend over £70 million.
My initial reaction to this signing is disappointment. I rate Lukaku as a player but I don’t think he is a world class player. When I’ve watched him play in big games for club and country he has been disappointing. For the money that is reportedly being spent I would’ve preferred Aubameyang but there aren’t many top strikers around. It seems like for once United played the transfer market in their approach strategy by distracting journalists from the Lukaku transfer with Morata.
So what are the pros of the signing?
He is a proven Premier League striker. He scored 25 goals last season and 17 were against the bottom half teams. At this point in his career he has scored more goals than Ronaldo, Rooney and Zlatan. This was a big problem for Utd last season as we dropped so many points at home against teams like Burnley, Stoke and West Ham. He’s also a great target man who can run in behind which we haven’t had consistently up front in a long time. I think we can now have counter attacking tactics performed away from home. I think this will hugely benefit players like Pogba, Mhky and Mata who will have more space to operate. I like the fact he’s ambitious and has stated that he wants to be the best and wants to win trophies which most players don’t talk about. If he reaches his maximum potential I can see him becoming a better version of Drogba. I think he’s quicker than Drogba and a better finisher than Drogba at this point in both of their careers. One of the things o respected about Drogba is that in finals and big games he was always a beast and usually scored. 10 goals in 10 finals is amazing and he was incredible in the Champions League.
What are my concerns?
At Man Utd teams come to Old Trafford and defend deep which a lot of players find hard to play against. I feel that Lukaku will struggle with that as he’s use to playing with more space. This ties in with my other point about his first touch and IQ as a striker. Whenever I’ve watched him play it’s obvious that he has the full physical attributes but his first touch and link up play even though it has improved is not the best. When he plays against defenders who are just as strong and smart he’s easily neutralized. I’m hoping that it’s something he can improve on because in the Champions League he could be exposed against the best teams.
My best starting line-up as the squad stands
Valencia Bailly Lindelof Shaw
Pogba Herrera Fosu – Mensah/Blind
Mkhytaryan Lukaku Martial/Rashford
Looking at the starting line-up I would use compared to in recent year there is a lot more pace in the team. It’s also a very tall and powerful team which if you look back on Mourinho has always had in his title winning teams. It’s an exciting team and I think has more balance than last year, I also am more happy about the centre back pairing alongside Shaw who has to deliver in his third year here.
Overall I’m hoping the signing is a success and that it’s not the only one. Another midfielder and left back is needed ahead of Fosu – Mensah who I rate highly and I think the team should be good enough to challenge for the league. Apart from the signings I am hoping that the football is played in a way to get the best out of Lukaku so that he is given a fair chance. At age 24 Lukaku has score 85 Premier League goals, he has the opportunity to become a legend for United. Imagine if he helps them claim the first league trophy since the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson ended. He would join a list of great strikers like van Persie, Rooney, van Nistelrooy, Cole, Yorke etc. At the current rate he is on he could be in the top 5 scorers in Premier League history in the next 4-5 years but more importantly he is in position to be the main man to win trophies for the biggest club in the world which is abgreat responsibility.