Ruud van Nistelrooy backs Romelu Lukaku to succeed at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has backed Romelu Lukaku to succeed at Old Trafford next season.

The Belgian completed a £75m move from Everton last week and claimed his first goal in a red shirt against Real Salt Lake City.

He then bombarded Manchester City in Houston three days later, netting a wonderful goal in the first half before rattling the woodwork later on, evincing praise from supporters for yet another commanding performance at No.9.

And Van Nistelrooy, who knows a thing or two about scoring in the Premier League, has predicted the 24-year-old to excel under jose Mourinho next year.

“Physically, he’s unbelievably strong and, with the pace he has, he often puts away the chances he gets,” he said.

“I think he’s one of the true number nines, like Harry Kane at Tottenham – they’re strong centre-forwards who are also a reference point during the build-up play. Romelu is strong on the ball but also when making runs and finishing chances.”

Man United players from past and present have been quick to warn Lukaku of the increased pressures set to fall on his shoulders as he takes up a leading role at Old Trafford, and rightly so. A storm awaits the Belgian, but the early signs suggest he is more than ready.

He appears calm, relaxed and already in the swing of life in the United dressing room. And more importantly, there is a tangible air of menace about his mentality on the pitch, even after just two weeks. Lukaku is there to score goals, and you can see he is brimming with determination to unleash himself on the biggest of stages.

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