They were both wanted by their respective teams, Chelsea wanted Romelu Lukaku at some point during the summer transfer window and Manchester United wanted Alvaro Morata sometime in that same window. When the window closed, Chelsea and Man United got Morata and Lukaku respectively.
The 24 year old Belgian, Lukaku joined the red devils in a £75 million deal from Everton. A deal which drew varying responses from footballing fans and critics. Some were of the opinion that he, Lukaku will fit into the project Man United boss, Mourinho wants to work with. While some were of the opinion that he is not the type of striker that a title contender should go for.
Lukaku no doubt is a striker that scores goals, at his time at Everton, he was and still is Everton’s highest goal scorer in a league season since Garry Lineker in 1985/1986. He was the first Everton player under the age of 23 to score 25 goals in a season. He also had hit 130 career goals before he turned 24. Since moving to England in 2011, Lukaku has scored over 78 league goals. Being in the running for the EPL golden boot award two seasons in a row means that the big Belgian should get what it takes to thrive in a club as big as Man United and help the Red Devils achieve her dreams.
One thing still trails Lukaku, he has come huge criticism for his failure to perform against bigger clubs. Last season before joining Man United, 21 out of his 25 premier league goals came against the bottom half 13 teams in the league. Taking a look at Lukaku’s six years in England (excluding this season) and his record against the top six teams;
In 6 games against Chelsea his old club = 0 goals.
In 8 games against Tottenham = 1 goal.
In 10 games against Manchester City = 4 goals
In 11 games against Liverpool = 5 goals
In 11 games against Arsenal = 2 goals
In 11 games against Manchester United = 3 goals
So in all, he has played 57 games against the big teams before now and has scored a paltry 15 goals.
In this season, the Manchester United star has made 11 league appearances of which all are starts and has 7 goals to boot. All of those goals have come against clubs in the bottom half of the league. West ham 18th
, Swansea 19th
, Stoke 14th
, Everton 15th
, Southampton 13th
, Crystal Palace 20th
. Against teams in the top half, Lukaku has failed to score. Against Huddersfield who are 10th
in the table, Liverpool 5th
, Tottenham 3rd
, Chelsea 4th
, the Belgian has failed to score. The most striking may be in Manchester United’s
game against defending champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Romelu Lukaku failed to make a single touch of the ball in Chelsea penalty box. With Man. United registering only two shots on target in 90 minutes.
In contrast, his opposite number, Alvaro Morata who cost the Blues £58 million from Real Madrid has also hit the grounds running. He has taken unto the Premier League like the duck to water. The Spaniard has 7 goals to his name too in the league this season. He has played 10 games, one shy of Lukaku’s of which 9 are starts. In his goals tally, 2 of those goals have come against clubs in the top half. Burnley who sit 6th in the League and against Lukaku’s club, Manchester United who sit 2nd.
We all agree that a striker will be mainly judged by the number of goals he scores, and of which Lukaku doesn’t fall short of. But in the Premier League and its competitiveness, a top striker would also be judged by the contributions he makes to the team. To sit ahead of your peers, you must beat them or at least don’t lose against them and on that, Man United has failed once already.
A top striker should be one that can drag the team along, win points for the team and from his sheer brilliance turn the game around for his team. That is just what Morata did against Manchester United. His sheer brilliance resulted to a goal from a Cesar Azplicueta cross. His header was a joy to behold and his overall performance worthy of applause. Save for the missed call from the referee, Chelsea would have been 1-0 up early in the first half, resulting from Morata pressing Phil Jones to force him into a mistake. Morata ended the game with 3 shots on target to Lukaku’s 0.
It is now up to Lukaku to prove that all the talks of him not being a big game player is in the past. But as for Alvaro Morata, he has started doing his and isn’t anywhere to stop. By this standard, we can stay that Morata is a better player than Lukaku.