Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ruud van Nistelrooy, and more to come from Romelu Lukaku

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ruud van Nistelrooy, and more to come from Romelu Lukaku

For the second time in just a week, Romelu Lukaku has proclaimed his excitement to be working with football legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with hopes that they could strike up a partnership when he returns from injury.

Lukaku explains that Ibrahimovic’s assistance will be integral in any aspirations of winning the Premier League title this season. Questioned as to whether he believes the veteran Swede could displace him, United’s new 24-year-old said he is happy with his progress at United and not worried about other players at the club replacing him.

I said to Zlatan I hoped he would be back. We need his personality. He will bring many qualities to the team, and help us in our goal of winning the title.

“I don’t fear the competition as a striker, or Zlatan. Things are going really well for me at United. The pre-season was good and it helped knowing a lot of the players before arriving.”

Lukaku insists that he wants to focus on his development at Old Trafford, hoping to become the type of consistent striker that Jose Mourinho can rely on.

“The manager has helped me a lot to settle quickly, so it has all been very positive. I am now with a coach that I have wanted to play with for a long time, since I was 11 years of age. And with him we are looking to do something special.

“For me it is all about progressing and learning in my career, and all the coaches I have had have helped me with that.”

Reaffirming the progress made by Lukaku in these opening fixtures, Ruud van Nistelrooy believes he has done very well, especially considering he was under the pressure of an incredible £75 million transfer fee. The former United poacher explained that his current counterpart has done very well in all aspects of being a striker, adding that he seems to be in good shape for the season.

“Lukaku has done great. To score in your first games here after you have been transferred for a lot of money, it is nice to get that pressure out of the way and get your first goals in.

“He has done well. Not only scoring but also providing, making his runs and doing his work. So it looks good for the season.”

There are a handful of active strikers in football that could help Romelu Lukaku improve his game, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of them without doubt. The legendary striker’s experience and past endeavours will help Lukaku improve for years to come, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the two physically imposing strikers in a lethal partnership.

Ibrahimovic’s declining presence in football is only due to his lack of pace and movement, a problem solved comprehensively by Lukaku’s intelligent movement and turn of pace to suit his brain. Both strikers are aerially dominant and can give defenders a handful on the front foot, but they would also be lethal with Ibrahimovic as a long-ball outlet and his partner the legs to create counter-attacks.

This dynamic could very well be important in deciding the Premier League title race, because it gives Manchester United options that were not available last season. And with players such as Ruud van Nistelrooy and Zlatan Ibrahimovic supporting Lukaku, he will be led on the correct path to stardom for years to come.