Manchester United interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed that Belgian international Romelu Lukaku will not feature in the number 9 role as long he is at the helm of affairs at the theatre of dreams.
Lukaku endured a difficult spell in the first half of the season following a World cup outing in Russia, which he claims had negative impact on him. The former Everton and Chelsea forward was given a compassionate break on Christmas, and this is expected to reduce his match sharpness compared to his fellow teammates.
But, in Sunday’s 4-1 hammering of Bournemouth, Lukaku came on as a second-half substitute for the impressive Marcus Rashford and scored United’s final goal, beating Asmir Begovic after latching on to Paul Pogba’s pass.
It was the first time Lukaku had featured since former boss Jose Mourinho – with whom the Belgian was said to have a close bond – was replaced by Solskjaer, and the new man at the helm is excited by the prospect of the former Everton man being fully fit.
“At times he’s a good target man, but if you tell him to be a target man he’ll never face the goal,” Solskjaer told reporters. “Today [Sunday] he was side-on and he’s got the attributes of a top, top striker.
“We need to work on his fitness, but I’m delighted. Even though he was half a yard offside [for his goal], it was a good finish.”