According to a report by James Ducker of The Telegraph, Romelu Lukaku was instructed by Manchester United brass to remove a social media post that contained confidential club data.
Lukaku tweeted on Friday a video of individual running speeds from Manchester United training that saw him second only to Diogo Dalot. The post had the caption “Lack of pace” with a laughing emoji and a running emoji, clearly meant to rebuff any detractors to the speed of Lukaku on the field. Unfortunately, as Lukaku pans across the entire set of individual data ranked from lowest to highest, the video contained the speeds of every player who took part in training, information that Manchester United would almost certainly wish to keep confidential.
The post also did Lukaku himself a disservice, as the Belgian has missed all of Manchester United’s preseason to this point. While the club claims that Lukaku has been dealing with an ankle injury, the public has speculated that Manchester United is doing its best to sell Lukaku, with the Belgian linked heavily to Italian club Inter. With Lukaku publishing the training speeds, his own performance detracts from Manchester United’s already weak excuse of injury and stokes the fire of speculation.
It also had the unintended side effect of embarrassing those at the bottom, with Luke Shaw dead last followed by Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic. Mata laughed off the post publicly, with a comment that read, “Thanks for finally showing the world that I’m quicker than @LukeShaw23 bro.” Unfortunately, Shaw’s comment wasn’t as lighthearted, claiming he was running “at 70 percent.”
Ducker’s report states that the post angered manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and subsequently the post was removed, although it did not detail who precisely ordered it taken down. The report also says that Shaw did not take the public shaming well internally, as the England international is known as one of the fastest players in the Manchester United squad and was upset at having his reputation as such tarnished.
The whole situation will do nothing but increase pressure on Lukaku at Old Trafford and push him closer to a move away.