Romelu Lukaku: United bound?

As a Manchester United fan, it feels like an eternity since we had any significant transfer news being reported by a credible source. However, that all changed today! BBC Sport reported earlier today that Manchester United had agreed a fee of £75m with Everton for the transfer of Romelu Lukaku. Of course it’s not a done deal, but the BBC reporting the transfer means it’s serious. Interest in Alvaro Morata has reportedly been dropped and the club are looking to complete the transfer for Lukaku before the end of the week so he can come on the tour to the USA. 

Only Harry Kane scored more goals in the Premier League last season than Romelu Lukaku.

Romeu Lukaku is a proven Premier League goalscorer. He’ll score goals, that’s guaranteed. That goal scoring habit is something we could definitely benfit from having in our team. Last season, our Premier League campaign suffered due to our inability to kill off the league’s ‘lesser’ sides at home and the recruitment of Lukaku could prove to be the difference next season. The guy is Everton’s top scorer in Premier League history, scored 24 goals last season and has already scored 85 times in the Premier League at just 24 years old.

No player scored more clear-cut goalscoring opportunities in the Premier League last season than Romelu Lukaku (18). [WhoScored]

Despite this, I’m still slightly sceptical over the potential signing. Apart from the hattrick he scored in Sir Alex’s final game, I don’t really remember him shining too much against us. What sticks out is the amount of chances he missed in the FA Cup semi-final in 2016. Also, I’ve got the feeling  Morata would work better for build up play etc and help other players such as Rashford, Martial, Mkhitaryan, Mata etc to score more goals whereas Lukaku could end up being like Ibrahimovic scoring a lot of goals himself but at the expense of the style of play and variety in goal scorers. Those are my only concerns though. I don’t care about the price. As I already mentioned, he’s a proven goalscorer in the Premier League and that is crucial. The football transfer market is bonkers right now anyway! I think this is a safer option than Morata, as Lukaku has done it already in the Premier League. But, is safer better? We’ll have to find out.

Lukaku missed a penalty in the 2016 FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United.

Lukaku is also still only 24 years old. He’s got so much time to improve and I’d like to think under Jose Mourinho he could achieve greatness. There’s a fantastic combination regarding Lukaku; he’s already a proven goal scorer but he can also be so much better than he already is. Surely that’s perfect? Genuinely could be one of the best strikers in football very soon so it seems to be a smart buy. 

Lukaku (136) scored more goals by the age of 23 than Ronaldo (110), Suarez (107), Rooney (100) and Ibrahimovic (65) did.

Overall, I’ve got to be pleased with Lukaku joining United if it does happen. He’ll be our main man up front and he’ll have top class players around him. Let’s wait and see over the coming days to see if there is confirmation!

Ander Herrera: Adopted Manc.

 

Herrera was voted by Manchester United fans as the clubs Player of the Season last season. He’d always shown an incredible amount of passion and love when playing in the United shirt but last season he backed up those key traits with immensely improved performances.

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Herrera beat Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antonio Valencia to be the 16/17 Manchester United fans Player of the Year

Ander Herrera found himself a new role under Jose Mourinho last season. He played more defensive and seemed to have more responsibility on his shoulders as by the end of the season he was one of our most important players. I think the performance that epitomises Herrera’s rise is his masterclass vs Chelsea at Old Trafford.

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Herrera vs Chelsea: 43 passes. 5 clearances. 4 interceptions. 4 tackles. 1 assist. 1 goal.

What a performance, what shift! He ran his socks off and tackled anything and everything that moved. Had Hazard in his pocket. The combination of immense passion and incredible determination plus trust in the manager’s tactics resulted in an all round vital shift to propel the team to victory. I was there that day, and whilst the atmosphere was amazing already due to the fans incredible support as per, everything went up a notch because of Herrera. He’s not the captain, but he was shouting and spurring the players on. That’s what every football fan wants to see! The fans feed off the players as much as the players feed off the fans.

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Herrera made more tackles (5) and more interceptions (4) in the 16/17 Europa League Final than any other player. Also, over the course of the 16/17 Europa League, Herrera won the 2nd most tackles (30).

Whilst Ander Herrera has a great work ethic and passion, he’s also not afraid to do the dirty work which is why he’s such a perfect fit for Mourinho. He’ll take a yellow card when necessary, he’ll make the most of fouls, he’ll waste time and he’ll get on the nerves of opposition fans and players. He has that not so nice guy side to him which can be very important to any team. A lot of the time his overreactions to fouls can be quite annoying in my opinion, but it’s how a lot of players are these days. They’ll do it against us, so you have to do it for your own team sometimes. Jose trusts him and you can see why!

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No PL player made more interceptions in the oppositions half last season than Ander Herrera.

Another thing that helps Herrera is his relationship with the fans. In a day and age where football players are often criticised for distancing themselves from the fans, how Ander interacts with United supporters is something that should be praised. Herrera get’s it. He understands passion, commitment, love and dedication – attributes that he and Manchester United fans share. It doesn’t matter whether it is a goal he has scored or a team mates goal, but he celebrates it like he’s a fan. He is one of us. An adopted Manc!

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Herrera won more tackles (63), made more interceptions (82) and recorded more assists (6) than any other Man United player in the Premier League last season.