Is the latest 100-goal Premier League club striker of Manchester United Romelu Lukaku overrated?
Posted: 3 April 2018 Time: 20:00
Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku became the youngest ever foreign player to reach 100 Premier League goals on Saturday and only the 27th player in history to achieve the feat - but is the burly Belgian earning deserved plaudits or is he grossly overrated?
Lukaku's opening goal with a composed finish in the 2-0 victory over Swansea City marked a century of goals in England's top-flight and Old Trafford rightfully erupted for the achievements of the 24-year-old.
Despite forging a more than credible record in the Premier League with three consecutive 20-goal season campaigns with Everton, the Belgium international striker arrived at the Theatre of Dreams in the off-season with a mixed reception due to his £75m (R1.25b) price-tag.
English media speculated whether the robust forward's decision to reject a return to his former club Chelsea was a mistake and whether he could lead United into a new generation of success in the manner that former number 9's of the past did.
Comparisons with the likes Sir Bobby Charlton and Andy Cole due to a numerical value placed on the back of one's shirt would be unfair but 26 goals and eight assists in 46 games across all competitions marks the Anderlecht youth product's best ever scoring season to date.
Now if one measures the success of a signing based on goals, he has lived up expectations based on this simple metric - despite criticism of his conversion rate against the top-six sides of the division.
Amongst all the negativity and bad press, Lukaku has shouldered the burden as the club's only striking option for most of the season and his leadership qualities have shone through in recent weeks as manager Jose Mourinho's leading light.
The standout performance against the Blues was a particular highlight when he silenced critics by manhandling Antonio Conte's rigid defence while scoring an assisting in the 2-1 comeback victory.
At his current age, Lukaku is by no means a finished product that has reached his peak, despite being in his 12th season as a professional footballer.
But if one puts into perspective that he's already eclipsed the record of Ruud van Nistelrooy and is only four goals away from Didier Drogba's record in the English top-flight - assumptions can be made on the statistic on whether or not he should be lauded.