Gary Neville has lent his support to struggling Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian forward has come under pressure in recent days after a string of poor performances in a Man United shirt. Although he’s been unable to impress in the red of United, he has done so for his nation.
That has led to great disappointment from Man United fans who saw Lukaku score more than 25 goals last season, including 16 in the Premier League. There had been hopes that he’d build on that showing.
Neville came to Lukaku’s defence and insisted that the 25-year-old is suffering a dip in form rather than anything more drastic and suggested patience from fans and pundits would be sensible, as well as from manager Jose Mourinho.
“I think that unless a player like Lukaku is feeling so down that he feels as though a break will do him good, you do try and keep them playing,” Neville said at an event, according to the Manchester Evening News.
“But the top players tend to play through those dips in form.
“When you build up a faith, with everyone thinking you’re a great player, it takes a lot then to say that something is not quite right.
“Romelu Lukaku is nowhere near that. It’s a dip, it’s not a slump.”
Lukaku remains a very good striker. The concern is that he’ll never be an elite-level striker capable of hitting 20 goals every season in the league and a further 10 or 20 in other competitions.
He’s also often failed to produce in big games. Last week against Chelsea it was Anthony Martial scoring a brace. Last season against Manchester City, Paul Pogba hit two. Lukaku has had some very good games and spell, but looks very much to be a player who struggles enormously when he stops scoring.
It could present an opportunity for one of Martial, Marcus Rashford or Alexis Sanchez to play in that central striking role which Lukaku normally occupies. it as Neville says, a break could just are things worse.