Michael Carrick has warned Romelu Lukaku of the intense pressure that will come his way leading the line for Manchester United next season.
The Belgian completed a £75m move to Old Trafford earlier this month, dealing a massive blow to Chelsea, and will earn £200,000 a week.
He featured in the second half of Man United’s 5-2 win over LA Galaxy last weekend and, despite not scoring, displayed plenty of strength and composure at No.9.
But his captain has warned him of the unparalleled pressure that will fall on his shoulders next season as he leads the line at Old Trafford.
“The jump is massive,” he said. “I found that myself coming from Tottenham. It’s a massive jump. You can’t really explain to people until they’ve gone through it.
“I’m sure he’ll find the same. But having Premier League experience is a massive bonus. He’ll know how things work week to week. It’s just about dealing with the pressure.
“It’s early days. It’s one week’s training and 45 minutes against Galaxy so you can’t come to any conclusions.
“We know what he is all about, there are no surprises. We all know exactly what he brings and that is why he is here. He is not going to change his game because he has come here.
“He does what he does best and obviously he’s been brought here to score goals. I am pretty certain he will do that this season.”
“When I came it was Roy Keane who came up [in comparison] but I’m my own man. Whoever comes in, you’re always your own man.
“He’ll be judged like anyone else: on what he does through the season and I’m sure he’s ready for that. The scrutiny will go up a level from what he’s used to. I’m sure he’s prepared for that and I’m sure he will do well.”
Lukaku outgrew Everton long before he actually left. There was always something about the way he conducted himself that made you envisage him embarking on a much bigger, more scrutinised stage in the future. Even at Goodison Park, it felt as if his aspirations – his angle, if you will – exceeded the direction of the club itself.
But being good enough – or at least destined – for the big stage is one thing; coping with what comes your way, however, is quite another obstacle altogether.
Make no mistake, the opening weekend of next season will witness all eyes falling on United’s new No.9 – their Zlatan Ibrahimovic replacement – and how he performs. Four games without a goal will garner attention – something that simply didn’t happen at Everton.
Dealing with this pressure is the first and indeed most important task for the 24-year-old next season.