Home » Martin Keown explains why Jose Mourinho will get the best out of Romelu Lukaku

Martin Keown explains why Jose Mourinho will get the best out of Romelu Lukaku

by Leo Nieboer

Former Arsenal defender believes that Jose Mourinho will get the best out of Romelu Lukaku at Manchester United this season.

The Belgian, despite being seemingly set for a return to Stamford Bridge, completed a £75m move to Old Trafford last month and claimed three goals over pre-season.

He then scored on his competitive debut against Real Madrid and claimed a fantastic brace during last weekend’s 4-0 win over West Ham United.

And Keown has noted that Mourinho, more than anybody, knows what it takes to get the best out of the 24-year-old going forward.

“At the end of last season, they are two players you would have thought would be at Chelsea. But Lukaku and Mourinho could be a perfect marriage between player and manager.

“I don’t think I’ve heard managers talk about an individual more than Lukaku in the last few years. At Everton, Ronald Koeman and Roberto Martinez kept talking about how to get the best from Lukaku.

“Mourinho hasn’t had to say a thing — he has just put him on the biggest platform and the player has come up with two cracking goals.

“Now, Lukaku has got to keep producing. He has the ability to destroy defences but cannot pick and choose when to make runs.

“The biggest difference I saw in United last Sunday was their pace. I read that three of the four quickest players on the opening weekend were Manchester United players.

“United played at a higher tempo, passing with purpose, but when they broke on West Ham they showed more pace than they have in a number of years.”

We often forget that it was Mourinho who laid the platform for Lukaku to wreak havoc on the Premier League. He received scant chances at Chelsea, but the Portuguese was keen to let him inflict damage elsewhere, because, really, that’s all the striker needs: a platform.

Plenty of pressure rests on his enormous shoulders ahead of the new campaign. United’s title chances are, after all, largely contingent on how he performs in front of goal, and that, you sense, is exactly what he needs.

Against West Ham, for example, you could tell he was brimming with an air of raw menace, determined to exact himself on Joe Hart whenever he got the chance. Some shirk at such responsibility; others enter a special element of pure focus. It was unmistakably predator-like, and just the thing supporters will want to see from their new striker.

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