Rio Ferdinand: Romelu Lukaku’s problem may be Zlatan Ibrahimovic presence

by Marwan Harraz

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has had his say on his former club’s striker situation, suggesting that perhaps Romelu Lukaku’s recent goalscoring issues are due to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s presence.

The Swedish hero has returned from his horrific injury ahead of schedule and although fans have loved seeing him back on the pitch, his presence means added competition to the Belgian.

Jose Mourinho has already previously discussed his players positions and seemed to indicate that Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are left wingers for the time being and that Ibrahimovic and Lukaku are the club’s main strikers.

The Martial and Rashford friendly rivalry has brought out the best out of the young pair but it appears as though Lukaku is not responding well to the same type of competitiveness from Zlatan according to Ferdinand.

The former Everton striker was in fine form at the start of the season when the former PSG man was still injured but his performances dipped almost immediately after Paul Pogba’s injury.

Speaking to BT Sport, Rio said: “He’ll come out of this. I think that maybe the bigger problem for him is Zlatan Ibrahimovic being there.

“Mentally, having a big striker behind you who wants to play, that’s a pressure from within, and sometimes people find that hard to deal with.”

Strikers do tend to go through purple patches and goal scoring droughts but perhaps Lukaku’s issues are more of a transitional one.

Although the forward has been in the Premier League for a few seasons, the need to adapt from one club to another is a natural thing and perhaps he’ll see improvement in his second season under Jose Mourinho’s management.

The manager himself seems to not care whether his main man scores or not but the lack of goals will surely affect the player eventually.

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