Romelu Lukaku has left the building. But should Manchester United have desperately been grabbing onto his ankles, begging him not to go to Inter?
Well, maybe not, but letting him leave without signing a replacement could be a big mistake, according to our panel on the latest edition of the Totally Football Show.
“It will leave a gap,” said Lynsey Hooper. “They need goals: it’s never good to let a player who’ll get you 20 goals a season leave, and I just thought Lukaku always had that physical presence, someone who people didn’t really want to defend against in the Premier League. I’ll miss watching him in England.
Tom Williams concurs: “As unfashionable a footballer as he has become, he’s currently United’s only proven Premier League goalscorer. Anthony Martial had a very promising first season then went off the boil, Marcus Rashford looks like he could become an absolutely sensational footballer, but we’re still waiting for that to happen.
“Clearly Lukaku wasn’t going to feature that high in SoIskjaer’s plans, but it strikes me as an odd one to just forgo a 20-25 goal a season striker when you’ve got nobody else guaranteed to score that in the squad.”
Don’t worry though. After being taken to task for his virulent anti-Manchester United bias last week, author of a book about Eric Cantona Daniel Storey picked up one positive from the move, which has seen United more or less break even on the Belgian striker.
“A positive spin is that typically they’ve been absolutely dreadful at getting money for players they don’t particularly want. Manchester City and Chelsea seem to be light years ahead of them in selling squad players for high fees, so having made it pretty clear they don’t want Lukaku, getting their money back for him is a success story.
“If this had gone south and the deal had fallen through in the last hours of the transfer window, they would’ve been stuck with a striker they didn’t really want, whose value was dropping all the time.”
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