UNITED SPECIAL Lukaku: ‘I was born to break goals record’
ANY striker will tell you it doesn’t matter how they go in, as long as they go in.
And Romelu Lukaku can attest to that after ending his recent drought in Belgium’s 3-3 draw with Mexico on Friday and becoming his country’s joint all-time leading scorer with 30 goals.
The United striker scored a comedy goal in the friendly – but neither he, nor Jose Mourinho, will care if it proves the turning point in his season.
Lukaku went into the match on the back of a seven-game barren run, which has seen United slip to eight points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
It is his longest goalless run since going 12 games without finding the back of the net for Everton, spanning the end of the 2015-16 campaign and the start of 2016-17.
After ending that spell the 24-year-old went on to enjoy his most prolific season at Goodison scoring 27 goals and convincing Mourinho to make him the second most expensive player in United’s history when signing him for £75m in the summer.
United’s manager will hope his bundled effort for Belgium will have the same effect – and will be encouraged by the fact Lukaku went on to score a second for his country.
It saw him equal the Belgium records of Paul Van Himst and Bernard Voorhoof.
But his first was a classic case of ‘They all count.’
Failing to control Dries Mertens’ cross from the right, Lukaku watched as the ball bounced off his knee from six yards and bobbled into the corner as he tried to catch up with it.
His second was a considerably more composed effort.
Mertens again the provider with a low cross, which Lukuku deftly lifted over Guillermo Ochoa. “I was born for this,” he stated afterwards - suggesting his miserable run at club level had done nothing to dent his confidence. “I’m glad I’ve matched the record. I always knew I’d do it. “I want to break the record before 2018.” With Belgium facing Japan on Tuesday, Lukaku has declared his intention to be involved in his country’s final international of the year. And rather than wanting Roberto Martinez to rest the limbs of United’s leading scorer, Mourinho may well be pleased to see Lukaku start again, if it means he returns to Old Trafford on the back of a scoring run for his country. United face Newcastle on Saturday with Mourinho identifying December as a pivotal month if his side are to chase down Pep Guardiola’s City. A reinvigorated Lukaku will be key to that.
Jose Mourinho will be happy to see Lukaku reinvigorated Romelu Lukaku