Romelu Lukaku knows a thing or two about grasping opportunities when they come his way. The Manchester United striker was only 16 years of age when he signed for Anderlecht, and went on to score 41 goals in 98 appearances for the Belgian side.
The forward then garnered interest from the Premier League, with spells at Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion and Everton following before United came calling in 2017. Lukaku went on to score 27 goals in his debut season at Old Trafford, and endeared himself to the United faithful with some excellent displays and deadly instincts in front of goal.
With another tour to the United States in the offing for the club this summer, there’s an opportunity for the club’s fringe players and youngsters to force their way into Jose Mourinho’s thinking for the upcoming campaign. The likes of Lukaku, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford will likely be absent on World Cup duty, which could allow previous loanees like Andreas Pereira, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Scott McTominay to feature.
Lukaku knows about the importance of taking opportunities when they arrive, and had some sage advice to offer to United’s younger players:
“I’d say just enjoy it. It’s very simple with the manager: if you train well, you will get the opportunities to play,” the player told Manutd.com. “I think Scott (McTominay) and Marcus (Rashford) are the great examples of that: if you work hard you will get a chance to play.
“So for the guys that come in, I’d just say make sure you deliver a positive impression on the manager and that you want to work for the team because it’s all about the team.”
It’s a timely reminder to the club’s squad to deliver and impress Jose Mourinho this summer, especially with so much of United’s squad away in Russia. Here’s hoping that the likes of Pereira and McTominay can take their chance.