Romelu Lukaku has backed Alexis Sanchez to come good at Manchester United following a difficult start to his time at Old Trafford.
The Chilean has struggled to enmesh himself in Jose Mourinho’s attacking lineup so far, managing just one goal and two assists.
His performance against Sevilla typified Man United’s inertia going forward and he was left out of the 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion over the weekend.
But Lukaku has insisted that a player with his natural talent and remarkable work rate will eventually start to deliver at United.
“As long as he keeps working hard like he does, I think he’ll come good for us,” he said.
“He is a quality player with a lot of assets. Look at my situation. I started really well and then had the dry spell in November and December.
“But at the end of the day with hard work you are always going to get through it.”
Anybody who has written off Sanchez already – just ten games in – needs to relax above anything. The nature of the modern transfer market can make it seem as if big money moves produce immediate success, but this does not suddenly mean every player will hit the ground running.
Moving in January – something Mourinho usually does not like – makes settling in doubly hard: no pre-season, no time to get to know teammates, just straight into the starting XI. He may be a seasoned Premier League footballer but transitioning from Arsenal to United, two teams with totally different playing styles and expectations, is far from a seamless process.
The talent is there. The will to succeed is certainly there. And, eventually, that vital chemistry with the likes of Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Juan Mata and Anthony Martial will also be there for all to see.