Romelu Lukaku put to rest any talks over his fitness when he came off the bench to score for Belgium in their final match of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
The Manchester United striker shook off concerns over an ankle injury with the final goal in a 4-0 decapitation of Cyprus on Tuesday.
Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez played his cards well to avoid a possible confrontation with Jose Mourinho over Lukaku’s fitness, choosing instead to play him on during the tail end of the already settled encounter.
Having previously managed Everton, it’s safe to say Roberto Martinez would relish seeing Liverpool beaten just as bad as Mourinho.
Lukaku’s goal was his eleventh of the qualifiers, further stretching his scintillating run of form for both club and country. Since his arrival in the summer, the 24-year old has already proven a much better acquisition than Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Big Rom has found the back of the net ten times in his first nine appearances for Manchester United, and even leads the Premier League top scoring charts with seven goals.
His goal to match ration is much better than Zlatan’s for the simple reason that he is 12 years younger than the Swede.
Although Lukaku may very well be an upgraded version on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, his misfiring at times is just as bad. His conversion of the final ball has only been a tip of the iceberg compared to the number of clear cut chances accorded to him.
Premier League experience
Romelu Lukaku has played in the Premier League for a baffling amount of time for a 24-year old.
Other than his ludicrous number of appearances in the English to flight, his 18 Premier League goals for Everton last season meant he needed no introduction; neither the time to read the terrain of the English game, nor get fond of the insufferably putrid Manchester weather.
Quality around him
The quality around Lukaku this season is much better than what Ibrahimovic had at his disposal last season.
The arrival of Nemanja Matic has unleashed the enigma that is Paul Pogba at an advanced role, Henrikh Mkhitaryan has adapted in his game as a master craftsman while finding the right rotation between Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial has equally worked to the Belgian’s liking.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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