Romelu Lukaku looking to add trophies to his career, not personal achievements – just look at his hunger!

Manchester United signed Romelu Lukaku from Everton in a £75 million deal last summer, a fee which could rise to £90 million. At the time the Belgian joined United, the Old Trafford club were heavily linked with Alvaro Morata, who ended up signing for Chelsea, scoring his 14th goal of the season for the struggling champions in the 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. At the time, many United supporters were moaning about the ‘selfish signing’ of Lukaku, who many did not rate in the slightest, yet they would have moaned if he did end up signing for Chelsea instead.

Lukaku scored 26 goals in all competitions for Everton last season, 25 of those in the Premier League. Whilst the Belgian has not hit that form in the league yet, he has matched those 26 goals scored last season, scoring in the UEFA Super Cup, Premier League, UEFA Champions League and the Emirates FA Cup. His first touch was mocked, even before he played his first match during the pre-season tour of the United States of America, then into the season, where there were some questionable chances wasted.

At this stage of the season, with just seven Premier League matches remaining, plus an FA Cup Semi-final, Lukaku is one of the players who can stand up and be counted this season. The sheer determination he has shown in the last few months, scoring 11 times in 15 matches in 2018, enduring some barren periods at the latter end of 2017, failing to score in a run of seven consecutive appearances, also failing to score in four consecutive appearances, twice – the Belgian managed to overcome the problems he faced.

Lukaku scored his 100th Premier League goal against Swansea City at Old Trafford on Saturday, a 2-0 victory for United, in which Alexis Sanchez assisted for the Belgian, before scoring his own goal 15 minutes later, closing the scoring for the Red Devils. The 24-year-old, who has achieved so much in his career thus far, by scoring some impressive goals, is clearly looking beyond his personal achievements, seeking trophies, which is one of the reasons he chose the Old Trafford club over a return to Stamford Bridge. Lukaku, speaking to the official Manchester United website, said:

“It’s not bad. But I want to add trophies to the personal stuff. There’s a lot of hard work to be done and I’m enjoying the challenge.

“I don’t like to talk about personal stuff. I’m a team player so I put the team ahead of myself. I’m a striker and I know there are a lot more goals in me, and hopefully, I can add a trophy as well to the goals.”

Lukaku was impressed with the victory over Swansea, which saw the club start on the front foot and put in a good 45-minute display, which really does need to fastly become 90 minutes, or at least the majority of the match. Jose Mourinho praised his team for the first half display after the match. United have a big game coming up this weekend, the Manchester derby at the Etihad, in which Manchester City, who top the Premier League table by 16 points, could win the league with a victory over their local rivals. Lukaku, speaking about the Swansea match, said:

“We’ve started our games really well, but today was really dominant from the beginning and that’s how we should play all of the time, with a lot of high-tempo passing and high pressing. Today, we showed that we could play with a different playing style and that’s something we should do every game.”

The Belgian also praised his teammates, also congratulating Alexis Sanchez, who has had a barren period of his own since signing for United from Arsenal in January, a move which saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan head to the capital. Sanchez assisted for Lukaku in the opening goal in the fifth minute of the match, scoring his second goal for United this season, his tenth in total, including those he scored for Arsenal. Lukaku, also speaking about how hard work pays off, said:

“It’s something that we worked on the last three days and, when we came on the pitch, everybody knew what we had to do. I’m really happy for Alexis [Sanchez]. The hard work pays off, as long as you keep working hard, one day it will pay off. Now it’s up to him to keep going like he’s done today.”

Trophies are what Lukaku wants to win as a player and you cannot fault him for that. During his career, so far, the Belgian has won the Belgian Pro League with Anderlecht (2009/10) and the FA Cup with Chelsea (2011/12). A lot was expected of him and United at the start of the season but an exit from the Carabao Cup, followed by the Champions League has seen United’s chances of a trophy being limited with just the FA Cup up for grabs, having to get through Tottenham Hotspur later this month to earn a place in the final.

Winning the Premier League will be a big dream for Lukaku, one which will not be fulfilled this season, but next season, after some dead wood has been cleared from the club and Mourinho has assembled a squad capable of challenging the likes of Manchester City, who have run away with the title this season, aiming to keep Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea and the currently declining Arsenal at bay, will be needed. United and Lukaku have what it takes to challenge, that has been shown this season, despite falling short. Next season could be the key for the Belgian and the club.

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