Does anyone still see potential for Lukaku?

RedTillI'mDead

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45 goals in 79 for Belgium
187 in 413 for club goals, of which 42 (plus 13 assists) in 96 in 2 years at United and 51 in 85 in his last two years at Everton (87 plus 29 assists in 166 for Everton total).

He has only recently turned 26, so still relatively young.

He clearly has some finishing ability and can hold up and assist.

We all know his build up play is weak and his first touch terrible. However, we as a team have also been poor and not providing Lukaku with quality assists. We have no natural wingers and our wing backs have also been piss poor. Our midfield have mostly been average at through balls, Pogba being incredible when he wants to be and useless at other times.

It's easy to put the blame on Lukaku because of his very infuriating weaknesses, but should we be investing to overcome them.

Is there a risk that we waste money trying to replace him when the real problems are elsewhere?

Sorry if this is better placed in a Lukaku thread, but with so much outgoing momentum and joy at him potentially leaving, I just thought maybe we should pause to ask the question.

We might gain a player with a better first touch, but will we lose some of the finishing ability.

His poor top 6 record clearly is a concern either way.

I for one would be reasonable happy to see him go, as I think we would need to change too much to make him work, but I am a little concerned that we are missing a trick on this one.
 

sugar_kane

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I thought he was awesome in his first season for us, even though he had a couple of fallow patches.

Worked his bollocks off that year - no idea what happened this time around.

His achilles heel however will always be his first touch, I'm not sure how we can move forward with a striker who is a liability in this sense.
 

SCJY

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Yes. He’s got potential sitting on the bench and coming on as an impact sub.

Anything beyond that, he seems to be incapable.

The real problems elsewhere can be bandaged slightly by a performing striker with a decent first touch and has some ability in the air.
 

MUFC OK

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He's clearly overweight. It could be muscle but he's completely immobile at the moment.

I don't see him changing it as his attitude comes across poorly, talks like he is Ronaldo and points the finger at everyone else on the field. His first touch we all know about and his record against the big 6 in the premier league is something like 1 goal in 20 games. He's a good player but not what we need. We should sell this summer whilst he still carries stock.
 

Tiber

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He is a good player, but not a great one. I know that's vague but I honesly think it sums him up.

A very good player for a team like Everton
 

adexkola

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Yes. Needs to be in a side that creates more chances. That won't be us though. We need a miracle worker up top that pulls chances out his ass. Maybe Marcus will be that player.
 

IRELANDUNITED

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Yeah, I do. But his head is up his arse and he has this sense of entitlement, he wants to go to Italy - go, I won't lose sleep over it.
 

Skills

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I think he's a good goalscorer. Problem is that we are such an awfully dull and uncreative team, we need a striker who can create his chances. And that's the part of the game he lacks at.
 

bosnian_red

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Nothing more than a squad player at a top club because of his lack of technical ability. Was always the case, he never looked like he was anything more than that as a player. He wants to be a starter somewhere, which he has every right to be, but to do that, he has to go to a lesser club somewhere.

Also he's less suited to a big club than any other striker currently starting at a better club than United, and at striker, you really want someone who can push you up a level and not be the thing holding you back.
 

RedDevilCanuck

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No.

His touch hasn't improved. His link up still the same.

He's also not as quick and doesnt physically dominate any defender.

He's a good finisher but more suited to a lower table team.

He's been playing since 16 so you cant really see an improvement in any part of his game as he is right in his prime. What you see is what you get and what I see is a good goal scorer but not a good enough player for United even in our dire position.
 

Skills

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Yes. Needs to be in a side that creates more chances. That won't be us though. We need a miracle worker up top that pulls chances out his ass. Maybe Marcus will be that player.
I think he's a good goalscorer. Problem is that we are such an awfully dull and uncreative team, we need a striker who can create his chances. And that's the part of the game he lacks at.
Great minds...
 

Massive Spanner

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Give him the right service and he'll net you 25-30 goals a season, probably. But I don't think Ole is willing to build a team to give him that sort of service which is probably while we'll get rid.
 

Skills

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Give him the right service and he'll net you 25-30 goals a season, probably. But I don't think Ole is willing to build a team to give him that sort of service which is probably while we'll get rid.
Who's Ole planning to build the team around then? We need someone to score 30 goals or we'll be in the same position we've been in the last few seasons.

I'd be surprised if Pogba keeps his production up if he stays here.
 

ship50

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I have this sneaking suspicion that if he signs for some other club, he'll star scoring regularly.
 

DanNistelrooy

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He's the only player in our squad who I think is capable of scoring 25+ goals in a season for us. He has that goalscoring/poachers instinct where he scores simple goals in the 18 yard box - none of our other attackers have this knack.

Saying that, he was borderline atrocious at times this season. Just too heavy which affected his speed/agility/fitness. Massive let down after a really positive first season IMO - he still got his fair share of goals this season but the running in the channels, movement and effort was lacking.

In answer to the question, if he can get back into his 17/18 condition and improve his fitness then - Yes. But if not, get rid.

If we are to sell then we undoubtedly need a goalscorer to come in.
 

Solius

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He’ll thrive in Serie A with more time on the ball but his size and poor touch have caught up with him here.

That Serie A view is based off a lazy stereotype from the 90s though so, you know. It’s probably still slower.
 

Paul_Scholes18

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I would like to bring in a better striker, but also think Lukaku could turn it around. He need to improve his fitness though and find form again.

The obvious strikers at world class level that we need probably also cost too much for us. I think it is stupid for us to sell him before a world class attacker has even joined us. It would show that we are desperate to bring someone in too.
 

Shaidabdullah Hussain

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He’s an effective player in the right role, but not in a free flowing attacking team as his touch is indeed poor for a top level footballer and this is the style of football we should aspire to play.

Will do well in serie a but that won’t change the fact that he doesn’t suit us.
 

wolvored

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He thinks he is up there with the greatest strikers, but is way behind them. He wont suit the football Ole is hoping to implement, using fast mobile interchanging strikers.
According to the media hes already took a pay cut to realise his dream of playing for Inter and said he hopes Utd dont price him out of a move. Does he think Utd wont want to get at least £60-70 million back and thats still with a very big loss on the outlay for him.
 

Canagel

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Hell No. his technique and first touch is disaster and ruins all the fluidity of the attack. I don't buy the lack of service claims, not without to give him a share of the blame. Other strikers gets more chances because they move in clever ways. We have strikers in midtable clubs that scored more than him.
 
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Marcelinho87

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We use him wrong.

At his best he has been used to run in behind defences with his pace but here for some reason we have tried to use him as a target man.
 

Sterling Archer

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He's got plenty of potential. He used to talk about learning and improving so I would like to think he has the right attitude. His biggest problem is that he put on weight. It turned him into a fat and unfit man, whose first touch was made infinitely worse by it.

If he trims down he will improve automatically, and then can resume trying to reach the potential that's there.
 

Verminator

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Unfit, in an area where you need an edge.
Fit, and in a two man attack, he could do very well.
Awful footballer, but some of those have made great strikers.
He's just to heavy to be sharp enough, and when he jumps (or pushes the world away with his feet) he barely gets 6 inches off the ground. Not that he can time his leaps anyway.

Shit! I bet Woodward has shelves and shelves of 'magic beans' at home.
 

settembrini

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I like Lukaku. You are right that he is a good player and United have generally wasted him on account of being so completely dependent on Pogba to provide creativity.

That said he has two clear issues confronting him at United:
1. His fitness. Last season it wasn't even good for an average PL team. If Solskjaer is serious about us becoming the hardest working team in the league then it's difficult to see Lukaku being a part of that.
2. Rashford. Under Mourinho Lukaku was the favourite child, now it's Rashford's turn. Unless we play a two striker system consistently next season then Lukaku will find himself being benched/dropped for Rashford a lot of the time. He's not going to be happy with that role and United won't be happy with his wages if he isn't playing most weeks.

I don't consider him part of the deadwood at United but selling him makes a lot of sense, especially as we should get a decent fee north of £50m.
 

Sterling Archer

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Words are easy.
Memphis regularly used to talk(still does probably) about becoming the best in the world.
You know the saying about eating your own words? It's like he took it literally :lol:. I need him to lose a lot of weight and get back to square one.
 

McGrathsipan

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No - a 26 year old oak tree planted in the D of the opposition 18 yard box would have a better first touch and probably more assists.
 

crossy1686

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His goal record is pretty great but to be honest I can only see him going to way of Heskey, Benteke and Carroll.

He used to be a pacy forward who thrived on balls played into space in front of him but he's tried to turn himself into a target man and it hasn't worked out. Drogba and Zlatan were the last decent ones, the game currently doesn't support that role unless you're a reactionary team.
 

redshaw

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Only if he can become lean again. He scored 27 in his first season then shit the bed next. While his touch and movement isn't the best it has seriously gone awry.

I would want a Jovic type replacement if we were to sell. He and the people who work with him everyday will know if his conditioning can be brought back, or you would hope so.

Looking at Rojo, Bastian, Rooney, Shaw, Lukaku and even Tony V. We allow players to get fat or become bodybuilders, neither favour running, touch and agility.
 

Aloysius's Back 3

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For him to do good he needs to be the focal point of a team that provides him a consistent service.

This is what he gets when playing for Belgium or when he plays for Jose.

I personally don't like that type of tactic as I find it kind of old now and easy to defend against.

To this day when de bryune played as a false 9 for Belgium they played much better in the WC.

With players like Martial, Rashford, Greenwood - I just don't see how Lukaku fits apart from being a plan B.
 

hanovercigars

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Lukaku sitting on the bench has more potential than starting every match which needs the team to be setup for him. His wages however does not allow for him to be used this way.
 
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Canagel

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We use him wrong.

At his best he has been used to run in behind defences with his pace but here for some reason we have tried to use him as a target man.
He won't find space because we're a big team and majority of teams still treats us like it. If he wants to depend on running behind he should return to small team that wants to play counter attack. He hasn't been used any differently- just his technical deficiencies in big club has been exposed.
 

SCJY

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I remember saying to my mate when United signed him that even if he scores 40-50 goals, I still wouldn’t be happy with him because I never really rated him. I just don’t think he fits the United mould at all.

And that thumbs up he always gives? Take it and shove it where the sun don’t shine. How about controlling the ball instead?
 

kkengvib

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In my opinion his current ability is around Andy Cole's level when he played for us. Good striker but not enough to be a focal point in a team with title aspirations. If he's part of a 3-4 man rotation like what we had when we got Yorke, Cole, Sheringham, & Ole, I can see it working. Right now it's him and Rashford and that's nowhere near good enough. Since we play with one striker now, that player needs to be a top player (think prime RVP, Zlatan, etc.).

I don't think he's content with being a bit part player and even if he was, he'd be grossly overpaid for his squad status/ability.

I'd let him go... but only if we have a replacement(s) that's equally as good at a lower wage and more suitable to our style... or a top player (probably not one out there that is attainable)
 

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Yes definitely, I m definitely in the minority on here because most fans on Redcafe seems to assume our squad is shite. I would definitely keep him and have him, Rashford and Greenwood alternates in the striking role. He is able to bully defenders and is a nightmare to deal with when he is in top form. If we sell him, we would have to find another striker that offer what he does and there really is not much out there unless we plan to outspend every other team this summer. We have more important positions that needs to be looked at this summer and I rather use those funds to get De ligt or Koulabaly, Felix or Havertz, AWB or Atal and Sancho or Pepe.

De Gea/Romero
AWB/Dalot - Linderlof/Jones - De Ligt/Smalling - Shaw/James
Fred/McTominay - Pogba/Rabiot
Sancho/Chong - Felix/Lingard/Pereira - Martial/Rashford/Gomes
Lukaku/Greenwood

For a more fluid and dynamic attack, Rashford instead of Lukaku.
 
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Havak

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I think he is quite a one-dimensional player and works in teams that play with quick attackers. He isn't the target man and hold up player that every manager seems to want him to be. He can bully defenders sometimes, but with his back to goal he isn't effective at all. He is great at winning headers that are 'knock ons' for speedy attackers to run onto when he's drawn the defender to him (see Rashford goals against Liverpool as an example). Almost all of his goals come from a wide player getting to the byline and cutting it back, or through balls that he can run onto into space and finish with his first touch. Literally, watch a YouTube highlight video of Lukaku goals and they are all the same. Either a cut-back into the box and a one-touch finish, or a final third through ball which he runs onto (almost always into the box) and a one-touch finish.

This is the entirety of his game and if you play to it he is a one in two striker. He needs to improve his overall fitness to make more of these runs, but it is the fault of our players and playstyle most of the time that means he isn't getting the goals. He would score 30+ goals a season at Liverpool for example with how often their full backs and Mane/Salah get into crossing positions. I just don't think he fits United as we are right now and without us signing 2-3 quick wide players for the winger/full back roles and utilising his strengths, he won't ever reach the heights that most people think he should. I think in the right squad he is capable of pushing on from his level at Everton, but I doubt it's with us. The £75-90m price tag and the fact it's Man Utd just gives him too much to live up to IMO.