Romelu Lukaku has expressed his delight after claiming a brace on his Premier League debut for Manchester United against West Ham United on Sunday.
The 24-year-old took just 32 minutes to open his account in a red shirt at Old Trafford, latching on to a perfectly weighted Marcus Rashford ball to slide home Man United’s opener.
He then added his second and killed the game with a trademark, old-school angled header into the far corner from a Henrikh Mkhitaryan free kick. Only a brilliant Pablo Zabaleta block prevented the Belgian from claiming a hat-trick.
But speaking after the game, Lukaku was notably pleased after silencing the critics with a couple of wonderfully taken goals.
“To play in front of such a crowd for such a great club is a dream come true, but the most important thing was the win,” he insisted.
“The win was good, four goals and a clean sheet. We started well but we have to keep working hard.”
“When you play for Manchester United you know everyone has a job and mine is to score goals. The team did a good job today, everyone created a lot of chances and we scored a lot of goals so that is very promising.
“He wants me to create goals, be a leader and create as much as I can for the team. I work hard in training and hope the hard work will pay off.
“The fans want to see attractive football and we need to stick to that, try to create and defend as a team. That’s what we did and I think the crowd was very pleased today.”
The pressure on Lukaku’s shoulders has been immense. He hasn’t just been drafted in as a replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic – a tall order in itself – but indeed charged with shaping the way United went forward this season.
And with the watching world waiting for a slip up, a chink in his armour, the Belgian put on an exhibition. United didn’t just create chances. They genuinely looked like scoring each time they poured forward, clearly galvanised by the 24-year-old’s bombastic physical presence down the middle.
Say whatever you like about the surrounding caveats to Lukaku’s technical game, there is one thing you can never doubt – that he scores goals.