August 9, 2017
Following the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the end of last season, something that was forced due to a serious knee injury, Manchester United fans were certainly left wondering as to who would be able to fill this void in the team. The Swedish striker, who scored 28 goals in 41 games across all competitions, was undoubtedly a key member of United’s team and his Old Trafford exit thus left the striking department in the squad as a rather depleted one.
Although Marcus Rashford proved his worth in the latter stages of the 2016/17 season, with some impressive displays down the middle, the departure of Ibrahimovic did leave the young Englishman as the only senior striker in United’s squad and thus reinforcements were certainly required. Despite heavy speculation linking the Red Devils with a move for Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata, Ed Woodward seemingly had an ace up his sleeve, with United securing a deal for Everton’s Romelu Lukaku.
The arrival of Lukaku was received by a rather a mixed reception from the United fan base, with some welcoming the proposition of the big Belgian and others not being so keen on Jose Mourinho and Woodward’s decision. Despite this, there is one thing that the signing of Lukaku will bring along and that is goals. Despite being at the age of just 24, Lukaku has registered 104 goals across the last five campaigns, an impressive tally to say the least.
In fact, Lukaku has already hit the ground running in a United shirt, scoring three goals during the pre-season tour, including one last night in the 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid. After missing a rather glorious chance early in the second half, the Belgian relied on his striking instincts to pull one back for the Red Devils, reacting quickly to Keylor Navas’s spilled save. The poacher’s instinct that Lukaku is already showcasing is certainly a reassuring sight for United fans and new recruit Nemanja Matic is confident that he can carry this form into the new campaign. Speaking after the game on Tuesday, the Serbian certainly has high hopes for Lukaku, stating,
“It’s very important for us that our strikers score goals, It’s very important for confidence. As you know he missed a very good chance but this can happen – it’s football. But I am happy for him that he scored a goal after that and I’m sure that he will continue to score goals and that he will score many this season.”
Matic’s own predictions for Lukaku are certainly a shared belief amongst many United fans, as the Belgian striker will certainly be responsible for leading out United’s frontline this season. Fans will certainly be hopeful of Lukaku replicating the goal-scoring form that he has shown at both Everton and West Brom and will play a large role in any potential success that United hope to achieve this season.