Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has revealed he is looking forward to lining up alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic and he has welcomed the competition that his presence will bring to the front line.
Lukaku has begun his United career in style by scoring three goals in his first three Premier League games for the club, and he carried his fine goalscoring form into the international break.
The 24-year-old netted a hat-trick on Thursday night as Belgium thrashed Gibraltar 9-0 in Liege, and he then scored the winner on Sunday night as his side overcame Greece 2-1 to become the first European nation to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
When asked about things back at United and Zlatan’s new deal, after the match in Liege, the 62-time Belgian international said the Reds’ squad would benefit from having Ibrahimovic’s personality around the dressing room.
“I said to Zlatan I hoped he would be back. We need his personality,” Lukaku told reporters. “He will bring many qualities to the team, and help us in our goal of winning the title.
“I don’t fear the competition as a striker, or Zlatan. Things are going really well for me at United,” he added. “The pre-season was good and it helped knowing a lot of the players before arriving.
“The manager has helped me a lot to settle quickly, so it has all been very positive. I am now with a coach that I have wanted to play with for a long time, since I was 11 years of age. And with him we are looking to do something special.
“For me it is all about progressing and learning in my career, and all the coaches I have had have helped me with that.”
RUUD SPEAKS ON LUKAKU
United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy proved he still has the goalscorer’s touch on Saturday when he returned to Old Trafford for the Legends match against Barcelona.
The Dutchman, who scored 150 goals in 219 games across all competitions as a Red, netted the opening goal in the 2-2 draw, and after the match he lavished praise on United’s current striker following his impressive start to life as a Red.
“Lukaku has done great,” van Nistelrooy told reporters. “To score in your first games here after you have been transferred for a lot of money, it is nice to get that pressure out of the way and get your first goals in.
“He has done well. Not only scoring but also providing, making his runs and doing his work. So it looks good for the season.”