With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed as the permanent manager of Manchester United, attention has turned to the summer transfer window and the improvements that can be made with the United squad. Of course, there are some names that Ole will not want to let go this summer such as Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. At the other end of the scale, some fans will be pleased to see the back of players such as Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Antonio Valencia.
In the middle of these two extremes, however, is Old Trafford purgatory. Players who clearly have quality but have not quite delivered in a red shirt this season. One player who typifies this more than most is Romelu Lukaku. Without doubt, he is one of the most fearsome strikers in the league on his day but we just haven’t seen it enough this season.
He has hit 12 Premier League goals this season which is pretty middle of the road for a Manchester United striker. One of Lukaku’s biggest criticisms is that he does not score against the big sides in the division. The Belgian once again this season has failed to score against any of the big six in the Premier League this season instead picking up his goals against the likes of Southampton, Newcastle and Brighton.
Having said that, when United were at the top of their game a few weeks ago, Lukaku was key to their success. He hit a vital brace in Paris to send them through to the Champions League quarter-finals and if he can produce something similar in the Nou Camp this month all of this season’s trouble will be forgotten.
During that period he also bagged a brace against Crystal Palace and Southampton but with United’s loss of form, Lukaku has struggled. They have lost to both Arsenal and Wolves in the league whilst their win against Watford came with Lukaku on the bench. That leaves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United fans with a dilemma to solve. They seem to play their best football when Lukaku is not in the side, performing better with pacier, more dynamic forwards such as Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.
Lukaku is still a top-class striker there is no denying that. But if United could recuperate most of the £75m they splashed out on him in 2017 and spend it elsewhere, they could improve their squad. United fans have still not grown to love Lukaku and he still seems slightly out of place in this eleven, often being used by Solskjaer on the right-wing.
The Belgian provides the Norwegian gaffer with an interesting scenario. If Solskjaer can do some business in the transfer market and potentially fund the move for Kalidou Koulibaly by selling Romelu Lukaku, United fans would be delighted. It looks like being a big summer on the Red side of Manchester.