Romelu Lukaku does not regret Manchester United move but deserves more respect for his goalscoring record

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has suggested that he deserves more respect for his goalscoring record. Jose Mourinho signed the Belgian striker from Everton for an initial £75 million fee in the summer with the player opting not to head back to Chelsea, which is where it was suggested he was heading. United, at the time, were linked with Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata, who ended up signing for Chelsea. Lukaku has faced criticism from pundits this season, including former United captain Gary Neville for his poor record against top clubs.

On Sunday at Old Trafford, Lukaku scored his first goal against Chelsea, the equaliser around seven minutes after Willian opened the scoring for the visitors. Lukaku has scored a total of 98 goals in the Premier League, 13 of which have been scored this season alone. Lukaku is the fifth highest scorer in the league this season, shared with Jamie Vardy and Roberto Firmino. Raheem Sterling has scored 15 in fourth place, Sergio Aguero with 21 in third, Mohamed Salah with 23 in second and Harry Kane with 24 in first. Lukaku, reported by Sky Sports, said:

“I just need to keep working hard. I think I have got a nice record. I’ve scored a lot this season and I just want to keep going. I know that I can improve, and I want to improve and really work hard. I want to win trophies. We are still in the fight in two competitions. It’s not going to be easy but it’s a nice challenge.”

The Belgian is just 24-years-old and still has a long way to go in his footballing career. He has been around for a while now, starting to play professionally when he was just 16. When asked if people seem to forget his age because he has been around for the period of time he has, Lukaku said:

“Yeah, because I’ve been in the game for so long. I started playing when I was 16. Year in, year out people expect 20 goals from me. I’ve been doing it for 10 years straight, so I think I’ve proved myself. You expect a bit more respect but it’s the situation we’re in. I don’t listen to it. I just want to improve and show the people what I can do on the pitch.”

Lukaku though is more interested in winning silverware for Manchester United than reaching personal accolades, which is great to hear. Despite the criticism he has received, the Belgian has given a lot for his club this season. Yes, he has not scored as many goals in the league as he did for Everton last season but he has been playing in four competitions which is not something he did for his former club, especially playing in the prestigious UEFA Champions League. Lukaku continued by saying:

“As long as I win, and I lead my team to winning that’s when I will be really satisfied. As a football player, I don’t play for the individual. I think a lot of big players that we recognise today in the game are players who have won something, and I want to be part of them. The road is still far ahead, but I’m ambitious and I’ll work every day for my team to win – I’m not thinking about myself.”

During the summer, as was alluded to at the start of this article, Lukaku was touted by both Manchester United and former club Chelsea. It was suggested that he would be signing for Chelsea and at the time United were linked to Morata with reports suggesting United had agreed on a fee with Everton for Lukaku, which was confirmed by the club the following day, a Saturday morning with Lukaku’s signing confirmed on the following Monday. Lukaku, when asked if he regretted signing for United, concluded by saying:

“No, no, no. When I make a choice it’s with my head and my heart. I made the right choice for me. As you can see, I’m in a good situation. I’m with a manager and players who push me every day. The challenge is there to win and it’s something that I wanted.”

This season, especially after the Chelsea result which will instil Lukaku with more confidence ahead of two crunch Premier League matches against Crystal Palace (Monday 5th March) and Liverpool (Saturday 10th March), two more wins will give United the drive to continue the slog to confirm their second-placed finish this season. United only have chances to win silverware in the Emirates FA Cup and the Champions League this season. Both would be welcome, but winning the FA Cup is the best option for United, although it is not a clear run yet.

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