Like a few of his Manchester United teammates, Romelu Lukaku’s form and confidence was shot to pieces during the final weeks of Jose Mourinho’s tenure.
There was a period of about a month where the Belgian striker produced a new contender for ‘worst first touch of the season’ every match he played.
The £75 million striker also went on a goal drought that lasted 12 games - 981 minutes, to be exact - in all competitions.
Lukaku isn’t United’s first-choice centre-forward under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - that’s now Marcus Rashford - but, more often than not, he’s managed to produce the goods when called upon.
He scored in the wins over Bournemouth, Newcastle United and Reading.
And on Friday evening, he was named Man of the Match thanks to his performance against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in the FA Cup fourth round.
Lukaku didn’t manage to get himself on the scoresheet against the Gunners, but he did provide two assists for his teammates within the space of as many minutes.
It was Lukaku’s brilliant little pass that set up Alexis Sanchez for the opener. He then put the ball on a plate for Jesse Lingard to make it 2-0 moments later.
Lukaku is flourishing under Solskjaer and was asked to compare the Norwegian coach to Mourinho after the Arsenal game.
The 25-year-old spoke from the heart about his former coach, insisting he still as a lot of respect for the man who brought him to Old Trafford in the first place.
“I’m not going to compare the two managers,” Lukaku told Eleven Sports, per Belgian journalist Kristof Terreur. “I believe that Mourinho has done a lot for his club.
“He won trophies, so I have a lot of respect for him.
“He is the coach who signed me.”
Fair play, Romelu.
It seems there’s no bad-blood between Lukaku and Mourinho, certainly from the Belgian striker’s point of view.
He could be forgiven if he felt relieved to now be under the management of Solskjaer, but even if that was the case you suspect he wouldn’t say it publicly - and you have to respect that.
“Solskjaer has just started his story here,” he added. “I hope that all goes well. I just hope we finish in the top four and that we win a trophy.”News Now - Sport News