After 11 goals in his first 10 games for Manchester United, Juan Mata has hailed the impact of summer signing Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian scored his seventh league goal in as many games on Saturday afternoon in Man United’s comfortable 4-0 victory against Crystal Palace, where Mata also netted, for his first goal of the season.
Lukaku has surpassed even the loftiest of expectations so far. With plenty of chances being created, Lukaku has finished most of them off, and is proving to be one of the world’s most lethal strikers.
Mata wrote his admiration for his new teammate in his weekly blog, released every Monday.
“It’s a lot of goals, especially when you come to a new environment,” wrote Mata.
“I knew he would score a lot but I didn’t know he would do it so quick, that’s true.
“He gives a lot more to the team too but for a striker, it’s important to score. He has started really well and he has been a key part to our good start to the season.
“It’s not easy to come to United and reach expectations but he is doing more than people expected and that is great for us.”
Very few players have started spells at new clubs in the way Lukaku has. Ruud van Nistelrooy took until November to reach 10 goals for United in his first season at the club, and went on to score 36 times in that 2001/02 season.
Manager Jose Mourinho has constantly referred to Lukaku’s overall player rather than simply his scoring abilities, in public at least.
But United fans and neutrals alike know that Lukaku’s form is nothing short of spectacular and with the 24-year-old leading the race for the Premier League Golden Boot, £75m is looking like a bargain.