Manchester United have made another major (and expensive) splash in the transfer market with the signing of Belgian striker, Romelu Lukaku, from Everton. Is he ready to take the next step in a much promising career for the Red Devils?
Name: Romelu Lukaku
Shot accuracy: 64%
Successful Dribbles: 64 (67%)
Is he the right fit?
It’s not the destination most expected, but the 6’3 tall Belgian has gotten his wish to move to a Champions League club. Romelu Lukaku represents a signing in an area of concern that has festered for three years ever since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. The three managers that have attempted to replace his considerable influence have been stylistically different, and frankly, far more negative than the Scot. United’s goal output has stalled as a result and now resembles that of a mid-table club more than that of a title contender and European giant.
David Moyes slapped his long-crossing philosophy (different from more measured crosses of yore that were interspersed among play from the half space and middle) on United, despite it being a far lower percentage option, and outside the hands of craftsmen of the ilk of Dimitri Payet, Ángel Di María, and Kevin de Bruyne, almost a game of chance. It brought United down to the level of inferior teams, and with the personnel to enforce it, brings lower-level clubs into a contest with better teams who get caught in the brawl.
Louis van Gaal brought a philosophy characterised by patience. It was theorised that with enough possession, teams would be caressed into allowing just enough goals to afford United victories. What the Dutch vet didn’t realise quickly enough was that English teams are notoriously stubborn and Machiavellian, and his process played into the hands of any lower half team. Goals decreased more and attacking midfielders racked up oodles of back passes.
Jose Mourinho’s way is well known. Somewhat more adventurous than the previous two, the Portuguese isn’t afraid to West Ham and Stoke it at the very suggestion of a superior opponent. Goal scoring chances came in 2016/17, but the personnel weren’t willing to oblige.