'I had to lose weight for Premier League'
Posted: 10 December 2018 Time: 15:00
Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has explained how his training programme for the FIFA World Cup contributed to his poor form in the Premier League this season.
Lukaku, 25, finished as United's top scorer with 27 goals in all competitions in his debut season at Old Trafford.
But the burly Belgian has struggled to replicate that form during the 2018/19 campaign and his goal in Saturday's 4-1 win over Fulham was only his second for Jose Mourinho's outfit since mid-September.
So far, Lukaku has scored only six goals in 20 games, a return that caused Mourinho to drop him for the recent league encounters against Arsenal and Southampton.
Asked after the win at Old Trafford if he bulked up intentionally, Lukaku said: "A little bit of muscle, yeah.
"It was at the World Cup. I just felt great and I think I played great over there, and then when I came back it is a different type of style."
While Lukaku scored four in six tournament appearances in Russia, plus twice in a friendly beforehand, he admitted the need to slim back down.
"In the Premier League, I cannot play with the same amount of muscle as international football," he said, as per The Guardian.
"That was something that when I came back I knew straight away: ‘Nah, I cannot play in this style like this.' I had to lose muscle basically. So you just stay out of the gym, drink a lot of water, and a lot of veg and fish and it helps."
997 - Romelu Lukaku has scored his first competitive goal for Man Utd at Old Trafford since March vs Swansea, ending a run of 997 minutes in all competitions without netting. Relief. #MUNFUL pic.twitter.com/pC1ADqMwBe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 8, 2018
Asked if scoring in his past two starts for United had eased the pressure, Lukaku added: "No, not really. I think I just need to keep working hard. Me and the manager had good conversations in the last couple of days, where really he told me what he wanted from me.
"And I know from my side I have to do better, and I just keep looking forward and improving, trying to add to my game and help the team to win."