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Rio Ferdinand: Romelu Lukaku is a scary striker for Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on the start Romelu Lukaku has made for Manchester United, insisting that, as a defender, he is scary to go up against.

The Belgian, who arrived last month for a £75m fee from Everton, has already claimed four goals in a Man United shirt this season.

He endured a day to forget in front of goal, missing a penalty and seeing a late effort sail over the bar, but once again impressed with his hold up play and aggression.

And Ferdinand, speaking to BT Sport, noted that Lukaku will make life hellish for defenders this season.

“Pace, aggression, desire to run in behind,” he said.

“He’s scary, one vs. one there’s only one thought: go towards goal. He’s a threat. You don’t want to play against that.”

The 24-year-old’s performance against Leicester spelled out in clear terms his capacity for doing more than just scoring goals.

Indeed, this wasn’t his day in front of goal – even if his penalty should have been retaken after Kasper Schmeichel moved prematurely off his line. But that isn’t the point.

At the masthead of attack, he offers so much more: his hold up play, for one thing, brings United up the pitch and maintains their fast attacking tempo. This myth about his first touch is being dismissed with every game that passes.

But it was his overall commitment to the cause that impressed most. He endured a furious battle with the imperious Harry Maguire and Wes Morgan for 90 minutes and never gave in. Even in stoppage time he was looking to bustle past them.

He wore the pair down, slowly but surely eroding the assurance to Leicester’s defensive work, and in the end it culminated in Marcus Rashford, unmarked, having all the time in the world to guide home perfect volley to break the deadlock and send United on their way to another three points.

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