Ander Herrera has heaped praise on the way in which Romelu Lukaku opened his account for Manchester United during their 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake City on Monday night.
The Belgian was handed a chance to impress from the start in Sandy and didn’t disappoint, latching on to Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s square ball before expertly rounding the keeper and firing home after 38 minutes.
Speaking after the game, Lukaku made it clear that, above anything, he was at Old Trafford to score goals.
And Herrera has told MUTV that he has been hugely impressed by what he has seen of the 24-year-old in a Man United shirt so far.
“A fantastic goal! He didn’t get in a panic, he was very calm. It was a fantastic goal,” he said.
“He is going to score a lot of goals for us but I want to speak about the work he does, always holding the ball up, he’s very strong, it is very difficult to win the ball back against him so he is very important for us.
“We have a lot of players like Marcus [Rashford], Anthony [Martial], Mkhitaryan, they can do one v one but we needed one like him – strong, who can hold the ball for us. Sometimes when you are defending for a long time you can kick the ball forward and he is there to hold it for you so the work he does for us is massive.”
It was only a pre-season game. We should always remember that. But it can be hard to withhold excitement when Lukaku, having not had a sniff of goal all game, pulls off a finish like that.
There was something about the way he left the keeper flat-footed and lashed the ball into the net that was so quintessentially Lukaku – simultaneously nonchalant and laced with menace.
Rival supporters – as is a popular habit with the Belgian – will point to Lukaku and say: “It’s only Burnley – calm down”. But that efficiency against lesser teams is exactly what Jose Mourinho needs next season.