Mark Hughes: Romelu Lukaku has talent to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic

by Tanveer Arayan

Former Manchester United winger Mark Hughes believes Romelu Lukaku has what it takes to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford next season.

The 24-year-old, after being seemingly destined for a move to Chelsea, has agreed a £75m move to Man United and will feature against LA Galaxy next week.

Supporters have reacted enthusiastically to the prospect of seeing the Belgian, who claimed 25 Premier League goals last season, step into Ibrahimovic’s shoes.

And Hughes, reflecting on the news, was quick to point towards Lukaku’s incredible goalscoring record.

“In fairness the boy, for a number of years, he has been scoring regular goals at the top level of British football,” he said.

“Given that Manchester United have lost Zlatan [Ibrahimovic], they clearly had to address that and they’ve gone for Lukaku.”

This is some typically shrewd business from Mourinho: weeks and weeks of Morata speculation, luring Real Madrid and every other big club into believing that their only option was the Spaniard, before pinching Lukaku from under Antonio Conte’s nose and suddenly acquiring one of the Premier League’s most established goal-scorers, leaving Florentino Perez with a bloody nose in the process.

Just like with Paul Pogba, Lukaku’s arrival is an investment: by 23 he already had more goals than what Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic at that age, and he will relish the challenge of taking his prowess to the European stage.

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