Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes that Jose Mourinho get the best out of Romelu Lukaku at Manchester United.
The club officially announced that an agreement with Everton had been reached for Lukaku on Saturday, with the 24-year-old completing his medical a day later.
Speaking in an interview with ESPN, Lukaku explained how he couldn’t reject a chance to play for the “biggest team in the world” ahead of formally joining the side in time for pre-season.
And Keown, reacting to the move, was quick to note that the Belgian and Mourinho could strike up a devastating partnership.
“It’s an interesting one because I think if Mourinho can get him fired up for every week then he’s going to be an outstanding talent but I think also the players need to challenge him,” he said.
“When you go to Manchester United everything’s got to be given every week and centre forwards at Manchester United have got to carry that team.
“With Rooney going out the door as he comes in, they’re big shoes to fill and the pressure is on his shoulders. I think he’ll respond to it and I think it’s probably the right call for him at this stage of his career.
“Manchester United is a huge club but he’s got to prove to Mourinho and to himself that he’s the real deal and the finished article.”
Firstly, the narrative surrounding Mourinho binning Lukaku back in 2014 needs binning straight away. It was, just like with Paul Pogba, the player’s – and not the manager’s decision – to force a move away, and his prolific spell at Everton serves as sweet vindication.
But one fact does remain: that Lukaku, albeit much younger, couldn’t impose himself on the Portuguese’s starting XI and had to move elsewhere. Now, however, he has been placed at the epicentre of Mourinho’s attacking approach, charged with eradicating the neurosis in front of goal against lesser sides that plagued United’s Premier League campaign last year.
And you only need to have a brief trawl through recent history to see that there aren’t many players better for that role than the bombastic Belgian.