Manchester United are, as usual, in the race to sign Europe’s top talent. Alex Ferguson is renowned for developing talent, and Lukaku is definitely one Sir Alex would love to get stuck into. However injuries would need to strike either Dimitar Berbatov or Wayne Rooney and then he would have to get past Javier Hernandez to get any decent game time within the the near future.
Lukaku has said he would love to work under Sir Alex, arguably one of the best managers in the world. But Lukaku still is not sure where he will go. “[Where I go] is in the hands of my father, agent and Anderlecht. I focus myself on training and games. I don’t think I have to focus on anything else. If I do, I cannot concentrate properly. There are so many clubs and big teams. For a young player sometimes you have to relax for a while and focus on your own team. I’m very happy with the situation at Anderlecht. I have the support of the club and other players. It is my environment and I’ve grown up here. It is best to focus on my goals.”
“There were a few other clubs interested in me after my first year at Anderlecht. Chelsea and Arsenal tried to sign me when I was 13, 14. If you play well clubs will always follow you. You know that but you don’t let it affect your mind. If you know scouts are watching every move you make and you are stressed when the ball comes to you, that is something you don’t want. You don’t want to read rumours or hear them. I train and play my game for my team. That is the only way the scouts will see you.”
United were of understood to have made a bid for the Belgian striker but a move is unlikely, as Chelsea and Manchester City are the preferable option for Lukaku and Anderlecht. Arsenal are also in the same position as United. Manager Arsene Wenger has been moulding a young squad for the last 4-5 years but most players are moving on into their mid twenties now so Lukaku is almost a footballing generation younger than Fabregas and co. Lukaku wouldn’t really fit Arsenal’s fast, slick, imaginative football either, as he isn’t really a pass and move player – think Didier Drogba.
Many people compare Lukaku to his idol Drogba, and the similarities range from looks to physic, from skills to style. Romelu says that he attempts to learn of Drogba, who is 15 years older the the Belgian international. “I looked up to Cristiano Ronaldo and then it was always Didier Drogba. As I understand more and more about football I see the qualities I have and I can see myself in him. I have almost the same qualities and I want to follow in his footsteps.”.
Lukaku will surely provide goals for whoever he plays for in the Premier League. “[The most goals i have scored in one season was] seventy-six goals in 34 games when I was 12 years old. I remember how many [competitive] goals I have scored every season. When I was 11, I scored 54 in 34 games. When I was 13, 59 in 34 games. When I was 14, 34 goals in 25 games although I had a hip injury and missed the last three months of the season. When I was 15, I scored 25 in 17 games for the Under-19s and 13 in 17 for the reserves. For the first team, I scored 15 goals in 30 [league] games when I was 16 and this season, now I am 17, I have scored 10 in 20 [league] games.”
Romelu Lukaku, 17, is most definitely on to watch in 2011.