Is Romelu Lukaku approaching the world class status?

After last weekend’s destruction of Liverpool’s centre-backs, even the performance he put in against Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League defeat, Romelu Lukaku is really starting to fulfil his potential at Old Trafford, but can he enter that group of world-class strikers across Europe?

He certainly has the potential to become one of the best forwards in the world over the next few years. The Belgian is still only 24-years-old, although he has been around England’s top league for almost seven years, and has all the attributes that you need to be a top striker these days. He has pace, power, clever movement and he is ice cool in front of goal.

He arrived at Old Trafford with a huge price tag on his back, which was something that didn’t seem to really affect him at the start of the season, scoring 11 goals in first 11 games for the reds. Even though there was a mid-season blip where he struggled in front of goal he is seemingly back to his best and is tearing up Premier League defences once again.

Although he is putting in his best performances as a Manchester United player lately, pundits and fans alike are hesitant to brand Lukaku as world class yet. This is much down to his lack of goals in the big games. At times this season, especially against Manchester City and in away matches against the so-called top six, Lukaku has only netted once, which is a worrying statistic.

However, the fact that in those games, defences attempted to isolate the striker, as he was leading the line made it difficult to have an influence on the game. In games such as the away game against Liverpool, the side was clearly set up not to lose, so Lukaku was never going to see much of the ball and when he did, there weren’t players around him to link up with.

He knows it is something he must improve on if he is to move on to the next stage of his career, but it isn’t something he is particularly worried about. He told the Independent back in October:

“I know expectations are really high but that is something I relish. When I was at Everton we have a different mindset going into games. Sometimes it was difficult against some teams when you play not to win and you don’t really create many chances. Now I am in a team who want to win against big teams so I think the situation will change.”

The fact that he plays for one if not the biggest team in the world, is something that of course is going to be daunting for any player, and as he said he is still coming to terms with the mindset of going into every game to win, after being at clubs like Everton and West Bromwich Albion when that wasn’t always the case.

Of course, the Belgium International can reach that world-class status, after all, he will be one of the youngest players to reach 100 goals in the best league in the world with his next goal. Time is something that he has an abundance of, and at a club like United and under the stewardship of Mourinho, it’s only a matter of time before he proves the critics wrong and becomes one of the deadliest strikers in the world.

Written by Dan Pearce

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