Romelu Lukaku’s form at Manchester United is worrying; could he leave in the summer?

Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku could push for a move away from the Old Trafford club in the summer according to former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy, especially if Marcus Rashford is still ahead of him as the main striker at the club. Lukaku has been playing in the Premier League for ten seasons now, including the current one, making 244 appearances and scoring 109 goals playing for four clubs; Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion, Everton, and United.

This is Lukaku’s second season at United and his form is becoming worrying. During his debut season, Lukaku made 51 appearances in all competitions for United, scoring 27 goals. During the current season, the 25-year-old has made 34 appearances in all competitions, only scoring nine goals for his club. Rashford, at least under Ole Gunner Solskjaer, has become the leading striker for United, leaving Lukaku on the bench more often than not, him playing a bit-part role at the club.

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Murphy, speaking to the Mirror about Lukaku, suggesting that this summer could form a big decision for the Belgian if Rashford is still ahead of him in the pecking order, stated that United will also have a big decision on their hands. Lukaku is a talented striker, which has been on display whilst playing for Belgium both in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup last summer, during and beyond the tournament. During his last 14 appearances for his country, Lukaku has scored 16 goals in 14 appearances. Murphy said:

“Manchester United will find themselves facing a difficult decision if [Marcus] Rashford continues to play ahead of [Romelu] Lukaku under [Ole Gunnar] Solskjaer. I think Lukaku will look to leave this summer if he isn’t first choice and there will be a queue of Europe’s biggest clubs wanting to sign him.

“Lukaku isn’t going to sit on the bench and be second fiddle to Rashford. The injuries to [Anthony] Martial and Lingard may prove decisive whether he takes his chance in their absence. I think Lukaku’s future depends on what Manchester United choose to do with Rashford.

“Does the club trust Rashford to be the main man who will fire the goals that will win them the Premier League and Champions League? He’s still only a young man so they may feel there’s no rush to put that kind of pressure on him and instead encourage him to keep learning and improving without the demands of centre stage.”

At this stage of the season, it is unlikely that Lukaku will sit on the bench with the injuries to Rashford, Anthony Martial, Juan Mata, and Jesse Lingard. He will have a chance to earn his position in the starting XI once again, depending on how long Rashford will spend on the sidelines after his ankle injury against Liverpool on Sunday which saw him complete the full match after sustaining the injury in the first minute.

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Lukaku is a talented player but he must understand that his form has been questionable this season, not only under Jose Mourinho but Solskjaer too. There seems to be something amiss with the Belgian which is a worrying sign of his position at United and his future at the club. If Lukaku is only going to perform when he is the leading man, he is not the right fit for United or other clubs. Players, especially in this day and age, need to perform consistently for their team, no matter what is going on in the background.

United spent £75 million on Lukaku, signing him from Everton in the summer of 2017 and the final figure could rise to £90 million is clauses in the contract between the two clubs are met. It is highly unlikely that United will make that sort of money if the player and club choose to part ways in the coming summer there likely will be clubs interested in the striker. Over the weekend, it was reported that Inter Milan hold an interest in the player, so there will be other interested parties, probably looking for a bargain.

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