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Should Lukaku focus on becoming a more effective bully?

Romelu Lukaku is a towering figure in the opposition box and should focus on using his frame to his advantage

CONTRIBUTOR
Feature 25 Nov 2017, 15:16 IST
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Romelu Lukaku has made a sensational start to his Manchester United career

I admire, and I'm fond of Romelu Lukaku, but I genuinely think, that since he has moved to Manchester United, there are a couple of things he has gotten completely wrong when it comes to improving his game.

Lukaku's physical frame and strength dictate that he can never become a technical player that most Manchester United fans would wish he was. Unlike most Manchester United fans, I carry a different view on how he can be more effective at the Theatre of Dreams.

Influential beginning

Romelu Lukaku has scored 12 goals in all competitions for Manchester United this season (including the solitary strike he netted against Real Madrid in the UEFA Supa Cup in August). He has also made a few assists in his 19 appearances this season.

So in total, we can conclude that Lukaku has, indeed, made a massive contribution to United's great start to the season.

Manchester United v FC Basel - UEFA Champions League
Manchester United v FC Basel - UEFA Champions League

However, during that time, Lukaku has failed to score in nine of the 19 matches that he has played in, which hasn't settled too well with some United fans. He has, on some occasions, been criticized for disappearing in some important matches, as well as for having a poor first touch, which have repeatedly led to a break in United's attacks.

So what should the Belgian attacker, who has been prolific for his country, and frequently for Manchester United this season, do to improve his game?

Is his first touch really that bad?

In my opinion, first, he must continue to improve on his first touch. Many United fans will agree with me on this. In the 12 league matches that Romelu Lukaku has played this season, he has had an average 2.4 unsuccessful touches per match, while in an offensive position according to WhoScored.

Interestingly, this compares positively to Alvaro Morata's 2.5, Sergio Aguero's 2.6 and the Premier League's current top-scorer, Mohamed Salah, who averages 3.2 unsuccessful touches per game. This suggests that Lukaku's first touch is not as bad as many lead us to believe.

Therefore, it is correct to say that while Lukaku's first touch is highly criticized across the media fraternity, some of the criticism could be unfair. Nonetheless, stats aside, every Manchester United fan agrees that his first touch has not been good enough, especially those who watch the matches week in, week out.

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Romelu Lukaku has been let down by his first touch in the past

Therefore, it is correct to say that while Lukaku's first touch is highly criticized across the media fraternity, some of the criticism could be unfair. Nonetheless, stats aside, every Manchester United fan agrees that his first touch has not been good enough, especially those who watch the matches week in, week out.

Romelu Hulkaku?

The second thing that I think Romelu Lukaku could do well to improve on, is his ability to impose his game against opposition defenders. Despite his towering frame and immense strength that only a few Premier League players can boast of, Lukaku has, at times, been eased of challenges leading to dispossession in attacking areas.

Sergio Aguero, who currently boasts an average of just 1.4 dispossessions per match in the Premier League, easily trumps Lukaku's average of 1.7. Alvaro Morata and Mohamed Salah are understandably rated lower in this aspect, with an average of 2.5 and 2.2 dispossessions per Premier League match, respectively.

But if Lukaku were to impose his domineering figure against opposition defenders in a similar fashion, which was the highlight of former Chelsea player Diego Costa, then he could become more of a "Mourinho player" than he currently is.

To summarize, Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku has all the basic characteristics to become one of the most imposing strikers in the Premier League, but he doesn't seem to take advantage of his physical attributes as he should.

Moving to Manchester United would have made him believe that he had to improve his technical gameplay to some level, but while some Manchester United fans would like to see a more technical Lukaku, that may not be the pathway to success during his time at Old Trafford.

Instead, he should focus on becoming the best of what he does best. His physical stature suggests that he could be more effective for Manchester United if he became a better bully.

Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect Sportskeeda's opinion on the matter

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