By Mark Weasley
Barring a late minute goal splurge from Harry Jane last season, Romelu Lukaku would have been walking with the Golden Boot award. The 24-year-old Everton striker had finally come good on his potential, scoring 25 goals in 37 league matches and cementing his place as one of Europe’s finest forwards.
In a transfer window in which premium places are placed on quality strikers, Everton placed a whopping £100m fee on their prized asset, after news broke out in March that he won’t extend his current deal at Goodison Park that expires in 2019, as he feels the Champions League is the stage for a striker like him.
The past two days have been awash with stories all over the media space about how Chelsea have been trumped to the signing of their No. 1 target after they have failed to make an official bid for the player, who had set his sights on a move back to Stamford Bridge to complete his unfinished business, after an underwhelming spell from 2011 to 2014.
United are now frontrunners for his signature as he is reportedly closing in a stunning £75m deal. Lukaku fell out with current United manager, Jose Mourinho when the pair were at Chelsea, as the Portuguese manager sanctioned a £28m deal to Everton three summers ago, as he felt that he couldn’t lead the line at that time for a club like Chelsea.
In those three years since that permanent move, Lukaku has scored 53 Premier League goals and has established himself as one of the best players in the division, consistently tearing up defences with his sheer physicality and impeccable finishing. He outscored all United players in the league, even the legendary Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and will offer his best years as a professional player as he is still unbelievably 24. United need a 20 goals a season striker, and in Lukaku, they have a player capable of offering that and more.
It’s been five years since the club won the league title and few United fans will forget Lukaku’s hat-trick against the club on the final day of the 2012/13 season, a 5-5 draw at West Brom in what was Sir Alex Ferguson’s final match in charge of the Manchester giants. He will be an instant hit at Old Trafford, and getting him under the noses of former club, Chelsea will be another triumph for the charismatic Jose Mourinho.