Former Manchester United full-back Rafael has backed Romelu Lukaku to hit the ground running at Old Trafford next season.
The Belgian, who claimed 24 Premier League goals last season, completed a £75m move to Man United from Everton last month.
And he hasn’t wasted any time settling in, claiming goals against Real Salt Lake, Manchester City and Valerenga during pre-season.
And Rafael, now with Lyon, has told Omnisport that he expects to see the 24-year-old cause plenty of damage under Jose Mourinho next year.
“I’ve seen Lukaku play at Everton and a bit at Chelsea,” he said. “I saw him also when we were champions, and he was in West Brom, [which was] maybe my best time in Manchester.
“For me, he is a good player and is at a good age, an age he can evolve, but if he keeps what he did last year and in the last two or three years, he will be an excellent signing.”
Louis van Gaal expended great amounts of energy signing players that, on the face of it, would wreak havoc in the Premier League: Angel di Maria, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Radamel Falcao, Memphis Depay – all superb talents capable of grabbing headlines.
The reality, however, was decidedly gloomier. The four in question had their moments of brilliance, but maintaining it during the violent peaks and troughs of a Premier League season proved difficult.
And this is exactly why Mourinho has opted for Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic: players that weren’t just effective at their respective clubs last season, but indeed for the entire nine month marathon. The Portuguese lacked consistency last season and, by looking locally, has found the perfect antidote.