Romelu Lukaku hasn’t had the best start to his World Cup campaign. The Belgium forward failed to impress against either Algeria or Russia, with coach Marc Wilmots pulling him before the hour in both games. Lukaku didn’t even see the pitch in Belgium’s final group stage game, with 19-year-old Divock Origi coming on as a substitute, eventually setting up Jan Vertonghen’s late winner over South Korea.
But that’s not stopping Tim Howard from warning his U.S. teammates to be wary of Lukaku. The forward spent last season on loan at Everton, where Howard had plenty of time to observe the havoc he can wreak.
Howard called Lukaku “super talented” before describing why people should not read too much into the struggles he’s been having at the tournament:
People have been telling me, [but] I have not read too much of anything. I’ve seen some of the games, but Romelu was brilliant for us at Everton. He went through a spell at one point where he wasn’t scoring every game, and all of a sudden he caught fire again. So I wouldn’t read too much into that.
At Everton last season, Lukaku got off to a fantastic start, scoring six in his first five appearances, but then going through a cold patch in which he netted just once in ten games. But with 15 goals in 31 appearances, it’s probably wise of Howard to be contemplating Lukaku’s potential threat. After all, it’s he that will be the final line of defense should the forward decide to get hot once more.