Romelu Lukaku - the 'Prototype'
23 years of age? Blimey, he seems like he’s been around for a decade. The man I rate as one of the fiercest strikers in the world is well on his way to greatness. The Jose Mourinho blunder of allowing Chelsea to sell this beast will eventually come back to bite the club as Romelu Lukaku will inevitably develop into one of the best strikers in the world - and very soon. His prowess may be a major factor in Belgium, an international squad with phenomenal youth talent, winning a major trophy in international competition.
The infamous ‘target man’ striker doesn’t cut it in today’s generation of football. You need to have strength, skill, pace and the ability to finish to have an emphasis in the greatest leagues in the world. Rarely do we see managers screaming ‘hit the target man’ with the expectation that they will just flick the ball to an on-running teammate each and every time. Apologies Peter Crouch.
To succeed as the big man up front, the prototype for success is Lukaku. He can play facing either goal and once he turns and begins gathering momentum, his strength and skill supercede most attempts to decline his possession of the ball. Burrowing towards the goal, he has the intelligence to play others into goal-scoring opportunities or finish himself.
Lukaku holds incredible football intelligence as his movement is spot-on. Everton have a continental style of football which demands that a striker join the play and aid in maintaining possession of the ball – Lukaku performs this task incredibly well. However, when necessary he can make his presence felt in both penalty areas, winning balls in the air and aggressively dominating the opposition with his physicality.
Observing the video below, you can see the variety of goals and assists which Lukaku can provide. He shows off his touch, finish and skill in one versus one situations. His final goal is based on anticipation and strength combined with calmness and decisiveness in finishing with a goal.
One of the greatest mistakes in the history of the Premier League was Jose Mourinho selling Lukaku when he was at Chelsea. A manager with the reputation of Mourinho is expected to harness the capability to develop a physical specimen with the football intelligence of this football behemouth. This oversight will prove to haunt Chelsea in it’s obvious form while Mourinho will rue the decision internally.
Romelu Lukaku is the ultimate example of a strong, physically intimidating striker. However, his technical brilliance is what sets himself apart from others – and will be the factor that catapults him from good to great in the eyes of the football world.