Romelu Lukaku has placed the ball firmly in Manchester United’s court over his future at Old Trafford.
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The Belgian international scored twice as they beat Scotland 3-0 in their EURO 2020 qualifier in Brussels on Tuesday, and speaking afterwards the former Chelsea and Everton striker revealed his future is up in the air.
“It’s up to the club,” Lukaku said. “The club have to come out with statements. I’m not here to entertain any rumors. I just play my football and we’ll take it from there.”
Lukaku’s agent, Federico Pastorello, has previously stated that his client wants his future sorted out by the end of the 2018-19 campaign and here we are.
Where could Lukaku go?
The 26-year-old has spoken of his love for Serie A and with the likes of AC Milan and Inter Milan getting their acts together in recent seasons, he could end up in Italy. It is obvious that his reputation has taken a hit in the Premier League and his confidence, at club level, is pretty much at an all-time low.
Given United’s poor form throughout the 2018-19 season, can we blame Lukaku for only scoring 12 goals? Sure, at times his first touch and finishing has been off, but the amount of chances he is getting per game is far less than at international level.
Lukaku has scored 15 goals in his last 15 games for Belgium, but has scored just 15 goals in his last 45 appearances for United.
Those stats don’t tell the whole story and the fact that Marcus Rashford is now starting ahead of him at United shows Lukaku that his future lies away from Old Trafford.
The other factor in this is that he remains one of the only players United have who they can cash in to get serious money to spend on other areas of the squad where they need to rebuild.
Having Rashford, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and even keeping hold of Alexis Sanchez up front is fine. And if they sold Lukaku for close to the initial $75 million fee they paid Everton for him in 2017, then they could use that towards signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire which would significantly strengthen their defensive unit.
At this point it is best for everyone if Lukaku moves on. Another season as a back-up at United will see his confidence further shattered and his transfer value will plummet.