Romelu Lukaku rocked the boat when he rejected Antonio Conte’s interest in him rejoining Chelsea to instead pursue a £75 million switch to Manchester United.
There had been reports the Chelsea boss felt ‘betrayed’ by the Belgian’s decision, after being lead to believe he would return to Stamford Bridge.
But what is the Blues’ loss is United’s gain; having already seen him net twice during two pre-season appearances so far.
The signs are already there for Jose Mourinho that he has got his hands on a player with the potential to be a huge star at Old Trafford.
Last season, Lukaku finished second in the Premier League scoring charts with 25 goals – four behind Tottenham striker Harry Kane – for an Everton side that finished seventh.
And now the widespread belief is that the former Chelsea striker can go beyond that tally on a regular basis for the Red Devils, given the quality he has to work alongside at United.
Chelsea, on the other hand, will regret ever letting him go – given his status in the Premier League now – but Mourinho’s decision to sell Lukaku while at Stamford Bridge has come back to benefit him.
The perfect time to sign Lukaku
At only 24, the Belgium international’s best days are still ahead of him and former United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy believes it was the “perfect” time for his former club to sign the striker.
“I expect he’ll start hitting his peak now. From the club’s point of view, it’s the perfect time to sign him,” said Van Nistelrooy, per The Sun.
“Over the next six, seven or eight years, United will hopefully have a great centre-forward in Romelu Lukaku.”
The Belgian’s selflessness may, arguably, have played a part in him missing out on the Golden Boot to Kane last campaign, but Van Nistelrooy sees similarities between the two strikers.
Van Nistelrooy likens Lukaku to Kane
“I think he’s one of the true No 9s, like Harry Kane at Tottenham – they’re strong centre-forwards who are also a reference point during the build-up play.” Van Nistelrooy added.
“Romelu is strong on the ball but also when making runs and finishing chances.”
Like Paul Pogba, there is huge pressure on Lukaku to perform immediately at United, given his price tag, and now a chance to perform consistently in the Champions League will add another challenge.
However, given his admirable performances for Everton, it’s hard to imagine Lukaku being anything less than a hit at Manchester United.