Ryan Giggs has issued a warning to Romelu Lukaku ahead of his debut campaign at Manchester United, noting that the pressure for strikers at Old Trafford is nothing short of enormous.
The Belgian, despite being seemingly destined for Chelsea, completed a £75m move to Old Trafford last week and will earn £200,000 a week.
He opened his account in a red shirt during a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake City on Monday, latching on to a Henrikh Mkhitatyan square pass before expertly rounding the keeper and netting what turned out to be the winning goal.
And Giggs, speaking to Sky Sports, has noted that the pressure Lukaku meets once the season starts will be unprecedented.
“He will be under scrutiny that he’s never had before at West Brom, or Chelsea, or Everton,” he said.
“The pressure will be on you. So he needs to develop a thick skin, he needs to listen to the coaches, because that’s all that counts really.
“And if he misses a chance, the next one that comes along he needs to put it away because, as a centre-forward at United, you’re under scrutiny all the time. I think he will score goals, but you need goals from all over the park.
“I’ve seen a bit of (Alvaro) Morata. I’ve seen more of Lukaku. The pluses with Lukaku are obviously that he’s played in the Premier League and Jose has worked with him before, and he’s got friends. He’s friends with Paul Pogba, and that makes the transition that bit easier.”
Lukaku is a machine in both physique and temperament: his sole purpose on the pitch is to score goals. And he has done exactly that exquisitely and without fail, almost like a robot designed specifically for destruction, ever since joining West Bromwich Albion on loan back in 2012.
Very few players have sustained such prowess in the Premier League over the last few years. He doesn’t need to prove his goalscoring credentials to anybody. What he does have to prove, however, is his capacity for thriving at the very highest level.