Jose Mourinho has insisted he “couldn’t be happier” with Romelu Lukaku following the Belgian’s display during Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Manchester City in Houston.
The 24-year-old latched on to Paul Pogba’s ball over the top, nodded the ball past keeper Ederson and produced a deadly finish from a tight angle to hand Man United the lead after 36 minutes.
He continued to pose problems with his neat footwork, bringing others into the game, and rattled the frame of the goal with a thunderous shot soon after half time.
And Mourinho, speaking after the game, was quick to point towards Lukaku’s work rate and quality on the ball during the early stages of his United career.
There is something about Lukaku that simply belongs to the Premier League. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, by contrast, was an incredible, idiosyncratic specimen capable of moments of brilliance but very much an alien sort of talent – never to be replicated in the slightest.
But the Belgian comes across as a machine designed specifically for overcoming the vicissitudes of Premier League football: physically imposing, devastatingly quick, excellent peripheral vision, positionally astute and, of course, utterly deadly in front of goal.
Pre-season can only tell you so much, of course, but the early signs suggest that Lukaku is here for one thing only: to score goals. And lots of them.