Romelu Lukaku has hit back at his critics amid a minor goal-drought of six games.
The Belgian started his Manchester United career in stunning fashion after a £75million move from Everton in the summer, netting 11 times in his first 10 games for the club across all competitions.
He hasn’t scored for six games, but is still one of the Premier League’s top goalscorers, and Man United’s highest scorer in the UEFA Champions League, too.
During a dry period, he’s helped out with assists and creating chances and space, but has been widely criticised for not finding the back of the net.
“I think a lot of people are judging me as the finished article,” Lukaku told Sky Sports.
“I’m 24 – you can’t judge me as the finished article. I’d rather have a year where I improve, improve, improve rather than going straight to the top and then declining.
“I know I have a lot of talent. I can do a lot of stuff, score goals with my left, right and head. But I want to be a creator – I want to have more assists. I want to make sure when my team is having difficulties they can count on me.
“I’m on the perfect stage and the perfect age. I want to be a winner and take my career to the next level.”
Lukaku has responded well to the criticism. Some high-profile figures like Graeme Souness and Paul Scholes have backed him, as has manager Jose Mourinho. Others have not. He’s come out admitting he’s not the perfect player and that he can improve, and that’s the right attitude to have.
With Lukaku, it’s almost as if there is a group of people waiting to pounce on any small failure from the 24-year-old. This recent dry spell has been the perfect opportunity, and they have jumped up having had to be quiet for the first two months of the season when Lukaku was leading the chase for the Premier League Golden Boot.
Hopefully the Belgian will return to the scoresheet on Sunday as he returns to his former club Chelsea.