Romelu Lukaku gets Manchester United on track but questions persist

It has been a busy and momentous few months for Romelu Lukaku. He was instrumental in Belgium’s advance to the World Cup semifinals, scoring four times and being hailed by Roberto Martinez, his national team’s manager, as the “perfect” striker for his country.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

His two against Burnley in Manchester United’s 2-0 victory have given him three goals in four Premier League games. It was a match that also saw him draw level with the Premier League tally of Didier Drogba — 104 goals, an amount that he achieved 30 matches quicker than the legendary Chelsea forward. He is still only 25 and his goal-scoring feats already look set to keep him in the history books.

And yet, and yet, the questions still persist.8

How can there be any doubts over Lukaku’s quality? Well, an alternative view is that he has already cost them at least one victory so far this season. When the game was scoreless against both Brighton and Tottenham, Lukaku missed two eminently presentable opportunities that would have changed the direction of the game. In both cases, United’s opponents capitalised on Lukaku’s profligacy to take the lead.

Lukaku is often compared to either Drogba or Ruud van Nistelrooy, but the truth is that he is not yet quite like either. Drogba was a player who frequently scored from distance and who was a relentlessly physical presence, whereas Lukaku’s key strength lies in his ability to evade contact — to disappear from his marker’s radar in a crowded penalty area. Lukaku’s game is actually more similar to that of Van Nistelrooy, in terms of his movement and the positions from which he scores, yet the one thing that marks the Dutchman apart from Lukaku is his consistent ruthlessness in front of goal. When it comes to that,Van Nistelrooy is uniquely brutal.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Lukaku has faced similar accusations his career — that he is not at his best in big matches, that he cannot score when his goals are most needed. He could fairly argue there is far more to his game than gracing the scoresheet. Against Japan at the World Cup, having missed a clear header earlier in the game, he was instrumental in Nacer Chadli’s late winner; against Brazil in the quarterfinal, he laid on Kevin de Bruyne’s goal with a superb assist. Yet Lukaku knows that his playmaking is not the primary criterion on which he can and should be judged. To that extent, he must improve.