What is up with Lukaku?

Romelu Lukaku is a Manchester United striker who joined the Red Devils from Everton. He is Belgium’s top goal scorer at the tender age of 25.  

Romelu Menama Lukaku Bolingoli (Photo credit: Premierleague.com)

Over the past weeks Lukaku has come under heavy criticism for his play, managing to score only 4 goals from 14 appearances. This is in contrast to a player who last season managed to rack up 27 goals in 51 games, where the team finished second. His current form is also not indicative of the kind of player we saw at the World Cup this year in June. The question on many Red Devils lips is what happened?

Lukaku was born in Antwerp, Belgium to Congolese parents. He started playing football at an early age and seemed to stick to it. He was hailed as a power house in his early years due to his size and he started playing professionally at the age of 16.

He plied his trade at West Brom, Chelsea, Antwerp and Everton before joining the Red Devils in 2017. His first season was filled with goals and strong play. Many have questioned his first touch and ball control but he has still managed to score. 

This season however we seem to see the shell of a former star. His touch has looked lagged and slow, his dribbling ability seems to have left him and his hold up play actually slows our play down. Many fans have attributed this to the amount of weight he has gained and I can see that being a factor in his drop in performance.

All the slander from supposed football pundits and former players is only adding oil to the situation. I agree that when a player is not performing they should be criticised, especially when they wear our badge and are paid insanely well (reported wage of £250 000 per week). I do think that some of the negative comments are going a bit too far with regards to the player.

I feel that like many others, he should just rest for a game or two. He has been a part of our side this whole season and just came from a healthy World Cup where he also played every game. There was an article written talking about how fatigue has led to the dismantlement of great sides. For instance, look at the Barcelona side that was coached by Pep. They were able to do wonders up until teams found out their style of play. Added to that was the fatigue that was building up in the squad, becoming too much for them. Even Pep had to go on holiday for a break.

From my perspective I believe that rest and time on the bench is what is needed for the Big Rom. This season he has had plenty of times to finish off attacks and has had great scoring opportunities, but was unable to find the net. Hopefully, like in the Everton game Mourinho does rest Lukaku, as when he is firing on all cylinders he is simply unplayable. 


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