By Dave Marshall
Romelu Lukaku is a doubt for Belgium’s crucial World Cup top-of-the-table clash with England, report Sky Sports.
He missed training due to the ankle injury he picked up in a 5-2 win over Tunisia, a game which saw him complete his second brace of the tournament.
That is good news, perhaps, from an England perspective, given that the 25-year-old has lit up the World Cup with his usual strength, pace and finishing ability.
He has not only become the highest scoring player in international competitions for Belgium, but also the first player since some guy named Diego Maradona in 1986 to register consecutive multiple-goal games in World Cup.
For United though, this injury is not ideal: Anthony Martial could be on his way and Marcus Rashford, although a quick, willing runner, has confidence issues in front of goal.
We will therefore rely on Lukaku, signed for £75 million last summer, to build on his 27-goal debut season and fire us into title contention. So much of his game is about athleticism, so if he is at all held back by this injury, there is a danger that we could be weaker as a result.
Thankfully, the injury itself is not long-term, so he should have some of pre-season to get himself in peak condition. Thursday’s Group G clash with England is another chance to reignite his personal goalscoring duel with Harry Kane, as the England captain has hit 5 goals already at the mundial following his hat-trick against Panama.
He holds the record of being the youngest foreigner to hit 100 Premier League goals, having hit the mark before his 25th birthday. He will hope to have another exceptional season come next term; but we need him fit.