Back in spring when rumours emerged that Belgium striker Romero Lukaku was in Manchester United's radar, the club's fans were absolutely delighted. When the £75m sale of the forward was finally official, many thought that he would help bring the league title back to Old Trafford. Well now it seems it's not happening anytime soon.
At the start of the season Lukaku did exactly what was expected, scored loads of goals and helped United to get a flying start to their campaign. After seven games the man had already scored seven goals, but then something happened. That something was big games and big teams. Already during his Everton days Lukaku was blamed for going missing in the big games. And it's not only about scoring goals, he would totally disappear when the team needed him the most. Since September he has managed to put the ball in the net only once in the Premier League and many have began to doubt whether Mourinho did the right decision. Now it's been 16 games and Lukaku stands with 8 goals in the top scorers list, the same as United legend Wayne Rooney.
On Sunday, Lukaku had the chance to redeem himself in the Manchester derby and help United to catch up with league leaders Manchester City. Instead he may have put up the most dreadful performance in his professional career. City were dominating the match like usual but couldn't finish their chances. Luckily for them, Lukaku basically gave them two goals trying to clear the ball from the area. In the final minutes he got one v one with City keeper Ederson, but couldn't get the ball past the Brazilian. City ended up winning 1-2 and basically wrapped up the league. As expected, fans, critics and pundits weren't sparing their words. The amount of criticism Lukaku got was unbelievable. I have never seen a player get so much hate even though in this case it was mostly deserved. Numerous United fans were asking why Zlatan wasn't starting and absolutely trashed the Belgian. Some said that Lukaku needs Pogba to thrive which I believe is partly true, and some went as far as saying that United should get rid of him in the winter. I would personally say that Mourinho's park the bus play style is one of the biggest factors in this situation.
This raises the question: was Lukaku really worth his price tag? Even with the amounts that clubs buy players these days, 75 million seems like it's too much for a player who doesn't show up in important matches and is just stat padding against bottom half teams. With the money United paid for Lukaku, they could have gotten Alvaro Morata. The Spaniard has only one goal more than Lukaku but has proven in Chelsea to be a much better signing. Ironically, Morata was more than ready to join the Red Devils in the summer but his deal broke down because Lukaku was the main priority. There's still over half of the season left for Lukaku to prove himself, but he better start doing it fast or he will more than likely lose his starting lineup spot to Ibrahimovic.
What do you make of the criticism of Lukaku? Let us know in the comments below!